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There is a lack of critical commentaries in the English language 
on the Gospel of Mark, and especially of commentaries based on 
the more recent criticism of the sources, and of the history con- 
tained in the book. Commentaries corresponding to those of 
Meyer, Weiss, and Holtzmann, not in ability, but in critical 
method and results, are wanting. This volume is an attempt to 
supply this lack. This criticism is based on the evident inter- 
dependence of the Synoptical Gospels, unmistakable proof of 
which is found in the accumulated verbal resemblances of the 
three books. The generally accepted solution of this Synoptical 
problem makes Mark the principal source of Matthew and Luke, 
his account being supplemented and modified by material taken 
from the Hebrew Logia of Matthew. This critical result is 
accepted by many English and American scholars, but no com- 
mentary based on it has appeared among us. A modification of 
this theory makes the Logia the older source, which Mark uses 
to a limited extent, the principal source of his information being 
the Apostle Peter. A few passages in which this dependence is 
probable have been noted and discussed. The critical theme of 
this volume is thus the interrelation of the Synoptics. 

In carrying out this plan, the relations of the Synoptical 
Gospels, their harmonies and divergences, and especially their 
interdependence, have been made a special study, and, where 
the fourth Gospel is parallel to Mark, their relation has been 


An important part of the critical question is the historicity of 
the miracles. This doubt — for the question has grown into a 
widespread doubt — I have attempted to meet on the general 
ground of the credibility of the narrative as contemporaneous 
history, and of the verisimilitude of the miracles. 

But after all, since the result of criticism has been to establish 
the historicity of the Synoptical accounts of the ministry of our 
Lord, the main attempt has been to interpret him in the light 
of this history. I have not attempted to make this book a 
thesaurus of opinions, though the more recent critical literature 
has been cited and discussed. Nor have I sought to collect 
curious information of any kind for its own sake ; but, by his- 
torical and literary methods, I have endeavored to arrive at 
the meanings of the life of Jesus as here set forth. It is recog- 
nized that this account is supplemented, and valuable additions 
made to it, by the other Gospels. But the use of it as the 
principal source of the other Synoptical accounts gives it an 
importance which it is hard to overestimate. What it has to 
say, therefore, about the life and character of the founder of 
Christianity, it has been the main endeavor of this volume to 
set forth. Other things have been used, but not for their own 
sake. Everything has been pressed into this service. 

The volume contains, besides the Notes, an Introduction, 
stating the Synoptical problem, a discussion of the character- 
istics of Mark, and an analysis of events; a statement of the 
Person and Principles of Jesus in Mark ; a discussion of the Gos- 
pels in the second century ; a review of Recent Literature ; and 
a statement of the Sources of the Text. There are also Notes on 
Special Subjects scattered through the book. 


Philadelphia, Ja n uary, 1896. 




Preface v-vi 

Introduction ix-xvii 

The Person and Principles of Jesus in Mark's Gospel . xix-xxxii 

The Gospels in the Second Century xxxiii-xlii 

Recent Critical Literature xliii-xlix 

The Text li-lv 

Abbreviations lvii 

Commentary i-3°9 

Index ■ 3"-3*7 




The main question in a study of any one of the Synoptical 
Gospels is its relation to the others. This is especially true of the 
questions belonging to Introduction. If writings are independent, 
the matter of their origin can be considered separately ; but where 
an analysis shows intimate relations between them, the question 
must be discussed with reference to this relation. Now, our study 
of the Synoptical Gospels shows both interdependence and inde- 
pendence. There are two parts of the story where the indepen- 
dence amounts to divergence. In the account of the early life of 
Jesus given by Matthew and Luke, Bethlehem is in Matthew not 
only the birthplace of our Lord, but also the residence of his 
parents. Nazareth is introduced only as the place to which they 
turned aside after their return from Egypt, because Judaea was 
rendered unsafe for them by the succession of Archelaus. But in 
Luke, Nazareth is their residence, from which they go to Bethle- 
hem only on account of the Roman census, and to which they 
return after the presentation in the Temple. And these marks of 
independent origin are found in the entire story of the infancy in 
Matthew and Luke. And in the account of the events from the 
resurrection to the ascension, Matthew and Mark, omitting the 
closing verses of the latter, make the scene of Jesus' appearance 
to his disciples to be Galilee ; whereas Luke places them all in 
the vicinity of Jerusalem, and on the day of the resurrection. In 
fact, one of the great arguments for the omission of the closing 
verses of Mark is that the scheme of appearances is that of Luke, 
and plainly out of gear with that of the previous part of Mark. 
Evidently, here, then, in the beginning and end of the Gospel 


narrative, the Gospels are quite independent of each other. And 
in the body of the history, containing the account of our Lord's 
public ministry, there are not wanting evidences of the same inde- 
pendence. The general arrangement of events is the same, but 
individual events are scattered through this general scheme with 
a decided independence. Luke distributes discourses which 
Matthew collects into connected discourse, e.g. the parts of the 
Sermon on the Mount. And single events, such as the call of 
Peter, Andrew, James, and John, are given with differences of 
detail, which show marked independence. But, after all, the 
general impression made in this body of the narrative is that of 
interdependence. One of the most striking features of this is 
the selection of events and discourses out of the great body of 
material open to writers. The matter peculiar to either of the 
Gospels is very small, compared to the common material, and yet 
the whole is very small, compared with all that Jesus said and did. 
There is some individuality shown in this selection, especially of 
the discourses of our Lord, but it is not considerable. And we 
have noticed already the similarity in the general arrangement of 
events. We can imagine that in the interval of a generation 
between the close of our Lord's life and the appearance of the 
Gospels, the oral tradition, which was for the time the chief source 
of knowledge of that life, may have acquired something like a 
fixed form in both these particulars. And so we may use the 
oral tradition, perhaps, to account for these items in the general 
account of interdependence. But when we come to the verbal 
resemblances existing between the Synoptical Gospels, our depen- 
dence on this solution of the Synoptical problem ceases. It is 
enough to say in this connection, that the oral tradition must 
have been in Aramaic, the language of Palestine, while these 
resemblances are in Greek Gospels, and verbal resemblances dis- 
appear in translation. But it is unnecessary to introduce this 
consideration even, in the face of such striking resemblances as 
these. Oral tradition does not tend to fix language to this extent. 
This verbal similarity is found in the Synoptics, wherever they give 
parallel accounts of the same event. Good examples of it are the 
accounts of the call of Peter, Andrew, James, and John, Mt. 4 18 " 22 
Mk. i 1 *- 20 ; and of the healing of the demoniac in the synagogue, 
Mk. i 21 " 28 Lk. 4 31 " 37 . The effect of this verbal resemblance is very 


much enhanced, of course, when the words common to two or 
more accounts of the same thing are themselves uncommon words. 
E.g. the words 7rpa>TOKa#€8pias and 7r/oo>To/cAicrtas in Mt. 2$ 6 , and 
the parallel passage, Lk. n 43 ; Mk. 12 39 , and the parallel passage, 
Lk. 20 46 ; and in a similar connection in Lk. 14 78 ; do not occur 
elsewhere outside of ecclesiastical writers. iKoXoftuxre, Mk. 13 20 , 
and the parallel passage, Mt. 24^, is a rare Greek word, and is 
used in these passages, moreover, in an unusual sense, ripara, 
Mk. 13 22 , and the parallel passage, Mt. 24^, does not occur else- 
where in the Synoptics. dypvTrveiTe, Mk. 13 33 , and the parallel 
passage, Lk. 21 36 , does not occur elsewhere in the Synoptics, and 
only twice in the N.T. e^/Jcwr™ and TpvfiXtov, Mk. 14 20 , and the 
parallel passage, Mt. 26 s3 , are not found elsewhere in the N.T. 
These verbal resemblances can be explained only by the interde- 
pendence of the written accounts. Either the Gospels are drawn 
from each other, or from some common written source. 

These phenomena of the Synoptical Gospels have given rise to 
a most protracted and intricate discussion, in which various the- 
ories, e.g. of original writings from which our Gospels were drawn, 
and of the priority of one Gospel or another, from which the rest 
were drawn, have been presented and thoroughly sifted. Fortu- 
nately, we are at the end of this sifting process, for the most part, 
and are in possession of its results. Tradition and internal evi- 
dence have concurred in giving us two such sources, one of which 
is the translation into Greek of Matthew's Logia, or discourses of 
our Lord, and the other our present Gospel of Mark. There is 
ample evidence that the Logia cannot be our present Gospel of 
Matthew, and on the other hand, there is no evidence that there 
is any original Mark, distinct from our second Gospel. Papias, 
writing about 130 to 140 a.d., says that Matthew wrote his Logia 
in Hebrew, and each man interpreted them as he was able. Ire- 
nseus, Pantsenus, and Origen all testify to the same, and in fact, 
there is no early tradition of Matthew's writing which does not 
record also its Hebrew character. It is also against the identifi- 
cation of the Logia with our present Matthew, that the latter 
contains matter that does not come under the head of Logia. It 
is, moreover, dependent in its narrative portions on Mark, which 
is scarcely within the range of possibility, if it was itself the work 
of an eye witness. Papias tells us also that Mark, having become 


Peter's interpreter, wrote down accurately all that he remembered, 
not however in order, both of the words and deeds of Christ. 
And tradition is consistent also in regard to this dependence of 
Mark on Peter. Moreover, this account agrees with the character 
of the second Gospel. It bears evident marks of the eye-witness 
in its vividness, and in the presence of those descriptive touches 
which reproduce for us not only the event, but the scene and 
surroundings as well. 

Is there any evidence that Mark's Gospel was in part a compila- 
tion? Did he draw upon the Logia in his account of discourse 
and conversation? Does not the supposition of the entire inde- 
pendence of Mark imply two sources of the Synoptical narrative 
in certain cases, in which the matter of the different Gospels would 
suggest only one ? In the parables, e.g., we have a larger group in 
Matthew, and a smaller group in Mark. And of course, if Mark is 
independent here, as elsewhere, this supposes two sources. But 
the parables themselves, by their homogeneousness, would suggest 
rather one source, from which both drew. Moreover, Mark's state- 
ment that Jesus used many such parables, in this connection, is 
another hint of a longer account containing more parables, from 
which he made selections. And the one parable peculiar to him- 
self would show that this was a third source, independent of either 
Matthew or Mark. Turning now to the parable of the Wicked 
Husbandmen, Mk. 12 1 " 12 , we find Mark supplemented by Matthew 
in the same way. Mark says that Jesus spoke to them in parables, 
and proceeds to cite one parable, while Matthew gives us three 
parables in the course of the same controversy; that is, Mark 
implies in the plural napaftoXcus, a source giving more abundant 
material than he uses, and Matthew apparently gives us that more 
abundant material. Moreover, the traditional source of Mark's 
Gospel is unfavorable to the production of long discourse. And 
accordingly, we find only one example of such discourse in this 
Gospel, the eschatological discourse in ch. 13. Whereas, we find 
frequent examples of such discourse in Matthew and Luke, and it 
is a natural inference that it is characteristic of the Logia from 
which they both drew. It seems probable, therefore, that this 
one discourse in which Mark follows their example comes from 
the written Logia, and not from his transcription of Peter's oral 



Mark has a way of his own of handling his material. Whatever 
may be his reason, the fact is, that he dwells on the active life of 
our Lord, the period from the beginning of the Galilean ministry 
to the close of his natural life. The introduction to this career, 
including the ministry of John the Baptist, the baptism and the 
temptation, he narrates with characteristic brevity. But it is not 
brevity for the sake of brevity ; it comes from a careful exclusion 
of everything not bearing directly on his purpose. The work of 
John the Baptist is introduced as the beginning of the glad tidings 
about Jesus Christ, and the material is selected which bears on 
this special purpose. The baptism is told as the inauguration of 
Christ into his office, and only the baptism, the descent of the 
Spirit, and the voice from heaven are narrated. And the tempta- 
tion is merely noted in passing. All of these things have a value 
of their own, but they are evidently regarded by the writer as in- 
troductory to his theme, the active ministry of Jesus, and are 
abbreviated accordingly. 

But beginning with the Galilean ministry, our Gospel is as full 
in its narrative of separate events as either Matthew or Luke. He 
omits events and discourses, but what he does tell he tells as fully 
as they. In the matter of discourse, especially, still more of pro- 
longed discourse, this Gospel is resolutely either brief or silent. 
As regards the general distribution of material, there is an earlier 
group of narratives, in which Matthew and Luke are parallel to 
each other ; another further along, in which Matthew and Mark 
are parallel ; and then a third, in which Luke stands alone. 
But what Mark tells in this period he narrates with pictorial 

When we come, however, to the account of the resurrection, 
and of the appearances to the disciples after the resurrection, this 
Gospel returns to its policy of brevity regarding what precedes 
and follows the period of the public ministry. These appearances 
are to the disciples alone, they are mainly mere appearances, and 
Mark gives merely the announcement of the resurrection to the 
women by the angels, and closes with this. This, instead of being 
strange, and requiring explanation, is quite in accordance with the 
character of Mark disclosed in the narration of the early events. 


Those were introductory, these are supplementary of the subject, 
and both are treated therefore with the same conciseness. 

We have discovered a like parsimony in the choice of material 
for this main theme, the public ministry. But this is for the sake, 
evidently, of sharpness of impression, and, for this purpose, Mark 
joins with it an effective grouping of his matter. He is not telling 
a number of disconnected stories of our Lord's work, but the 
one story of his public ministry, and he selects and groups his 
material in order to show the progress of events, their division 
into separate periods, and their culmination in the final catastrophe. 
The first period is one of immediate popularity, and of a corre- 
sponding reserve. The effect of Jesus' miracles in spreading his 
fame, and in drawing a multitude after him, is emphasized, and at 
the same time Jesus withdraws from the multitude, and forbids 
the spreading of the report of his miracles. We are not told 
about the subjects of his teaching, but of its impression, and its 
effect in increasing his popularity. 

The second period, beginning with Jesus' return from his first 
tour in Galilee to Capernaum, is marked by the contrast between 
this continued popularity and the growing opposition of the Phari- 
sees. We are shown in a series of rapid sketches the causes of 
this opposition in the revolutionary character of Jesus' ministry, 
and his quiet disregard of Pharisaic traditions and customs. He 
calls a publican to the inner circle of his disciples, and eats with 
publicans and sinners; he decries formal fastings, heals on the 
Sabbath, defends eating with unwashed hands, and denounces all 
traditionalism. There can be no doubt that this rapid succession 
of events, all of the same character, is intended to produce the 
effect described, and to show us how, early in the ministry of 
Jesus, he was forced into opposition to the ruling sect, and so the 
way was prepared for the end. But the picture has lights as well 
as shadows, and the mixture with these conflicts of other events, 
such as the appointment of the twelve, the sending of them on a 
separate mission, the teaching in parables, and sundry miracles, 
produces the biographical effect. 

But at last this short ministry in Galilee comes to an end, and 
is followed by a period in which Jesus journeys with his disciples 
into the Gentile territory about Galilee, and there prepares them 
for his death at the hands of his enemies. There is added to this 


the confession of his Messianic claim, the story of his Transfigu- 
ration, a few miracles in the strange places where these travels 
take him; but the characteristic mark of the whole period is 
this secret conference with his disciples about the crisis in his 

The succeeding period, beginning with his final departure from 
Galilee, and ending with his entry into Jerusalem, is one into 
which Matthew and Luke have put much of their characteristic 
material, and in which Mark is unusually brief. And the matter 
selected by him is of an unusually mixed kind. It begins with 
one of those disputes between him and the Pharisees which mark 
these last days. It proceeds with various conversations and in- 
structions, in which different aspects of the kingdom of God are 
shown ; it gives a strange picture of the impression of fear pro- 
duced on Jesus' disciples by his manner on the road to Jerusalem ; 
and it tells of one miracle at Jerusalem. In brief, this is a period 
of waiting, in which the events themselves, ana the turn given to 
them, foreshadow and prepare for the final crisis. Then comes 
the last week, with its story of the final conflicts between Jesus 
and the authorities at Jerusalem, of his trial and death. The 
entry into Jerusalem is evidently intended to be his announcement 
of himself as the Messiah, and the cleansing oi the Temple a 
manifestation of his authority. This authority is immediately 
challenged by the Sanhedrim, and in the parable of the Wicked 
Husbandmen, Jesus makes his charge against them. Then they 
ply him with their legal puzzles, attempting to discredit his teach- 
ing, and their discomfiture only hastens the end. 

This brief analysis will show the principle on which Mark 
selects his material and groups it. Both contribute to the one 
object of sharpness of impression. The different periods are 
marked off, and the effect is not blurred by the introduction of 
confusing or voluminous detail. The life of Jesus has not made 
on him the effect of mere wonder which he seeks to reproduce in 
disconnected stories, but of a swift march of events toward a 
tragic end, and he marks off the stages of this progress. 

But Mark's effectiveness as a story-teller is due not only to his 
selection and grouping of material, but also to his pictorial fulness. 
He gives us the scene of events more frequently than the other 
writers, whether in the house, or by the sea, or on the road. On 


one occasion, this vividness, where he tells of the green grass on 
which the five thousand reclined, gives us an invaluable mark of 
time, telling us what we should not know from the other Synop- 
tics, that there was a Passover during the Galilean ministry. He 
tells us of the multitudes about Jesus, and gives us a lively de- 
scription of the way in which they ran about as he entered one 
village after another, bringing the sick to him on their pallets. 
He tells us of the astonishment and fear of the disciples, as Jesus 
went before them to Jerusalem. His style lends itself to the same 
purpose. He uses the imperfect, the still more effective fy with 
the participle, and the historical present. But he does it all in 
the rapid and effective way characteristic of him. It is by a 
stroke here, and a bit of color there, that the effect is produced. 


The places in which Mark's name occurs in the N.T. are 
Acts i2 12 - ■ 13 5 ls , 15 37 , Col. 4 10 , 2 Tim. 4 11 , Philem. 24 , 1 Pet. 5 13 . 
From these we learn that he was the son of Mary, to whose house 
Peter went after his release from imprisonment, and cousin of 
Barnabas. His original Hebrew name was John, and to this was 
appended a Roman surname Mark. Peter includes him in the 
salutation of his first epistle, and calls him his son (in the faith). 
He makes his first appearance in the history as the companion of 
Barnabas and Saul, whom they took back to Antioch with them 
on their return from Jerusalem, where they had been to carry the 
offerings of the churches on the occasion of a famine. And when 
they start, immediately after, on their first missionary journey, 
Mark accompanies them, but only to turn back again after the 
completion of their mission to Cyprus. Then, at the beginning 
of their second missionary tour, he becomes the source of conten- 
tion to his superiors, Barnabas wishing to take his cousin along 
with them again, and Paul refusing his company on account of his 
previous defection. But in the epistle to the Colossians he 
appears again as the assistant of Paul, being mentioned by him as 
one who sends greetings to that church. And in 2 Tim., Paul 
writes Timothy to bring Mark with him as one who is useful to 
him in the ministry. Again, in the epistle to Philemon he is with 
Paul, and is included in the salutations of that letter. 



Mark was evidently written for Gentile readers, as it contains 
explanations of Hebrew terms and customs. 1 Tradition says that 
it was written after the death of Peter and Paul. There is one 
decisive mark of time in the Gospel itself. In the eschatological 
discourse attention is called to the sign given by Jesus of the time 
of the destruction of Jerusalem, which leads us to infer that the 
Gospel was written before that time, but when the event was im- 
pending. This would fix the time as about 70 a.d. Tradition 
says also that it was written at Rome. And there is a certain sup- 
port given to this by the use of Latin words peculiar to this 
Gospel. 2 

1 E.g. the explanatory t»}s raAUai'a? after Na£apeV ; the translation of Boavep-ye? ; 
of TaAifla, Kovp ; the explanation of KoivaU x e P°"' as = aviwToi? ; the translation of 
'E(j><t>ada. ; the statement of the Jewish custom of ceremonial washing ; of the Sad- 
ducees' denial of the resurrection ; of the custom of killing the Paschal lamb on 
the first day of the feast; the translation of Tokyofa, and of 'EAwi, 'EAou, Aa/ua 

<ra/3ax0acei ; and the explanation of Trapacncevrj as = 7rpoo-a/3/SaToe . 

2 E.g. K pd8aTTov, Lat. grabatus, where the other Synoptists use kAikij, k\ivL&iqv ; 
«rjreKovAaTu>p, Lat. speculator; ntvTvpiuv, Lat. centurion. 


Matthew begins his account of Jesus' public ministry, as Mk. 
does, with the statement that Jesus came into Galilee after the 
imprisonment of John, and began to proclaim the good news of 
the coming kingdom, accompanying this with miracles of healing. 
But he follows this immediately with the Sermon on the Mount, 
which serves as a basis for all the subsequent teaching, and gives 
us as the subject of that teaching the Kingdom of God. Lk. 
introduces this in another place, giving first some of the detached 
sayings, and so preparing the way for the connected discourse, 
instead of making the connected discourse an introduction to the 
detached sayings. But the effect of the discourse, and its relation 
to the teaching as a whole, are the same. Mk., on the other 
hand, gives only detached sayings, unrelated to any central group 
of teachings, and in his gospel, therefore, we have to study out 
the problem of our Lord's life and teaching after a different 

He appears in the first place as a herald of the kingdom, taking 
up the work of John. Then he calls four men into personal 
association with himself. His first Sabbath in Capernaum is a 
memorable one. It is evident that he is regarded as a teacher, 
for he is asked to preach in the synagogue, and his hearers are 
impressed with the note of authority in his teaching, so different 
from the manner of the Scribes, the recognized authorities. But 
they are still more impressed with a miracle performed by him, 
and as soon as the law allows, they bring all the sick of the city to 
him, and the whole town is in an uproar. The two things together 
stamp him as a prophet, making a decided advance on the char- 
acter of teacher, in which he appears at first. But so far as he is 
recognized at all, the popular voice after this accords to him these 
two titles, rabbi and prophet. 



But Jesus evidently sees elements of clanger in this popular 
uprising. The emphasis is on the wrong side of their lack, and 
of his power. If his message had reached them, and they had 
clamored to hear more of that, and especially had shown any 
disposition to follow his teaching, he might have stayed to preach, 
instead of going out to pray. But he did not wish to pose as a 
miracle- worker, and to have the inference " Messiah " follow from 
that in the popular imagination. And so he retires to pray, he 
refuses the clamorous call to return, and when a man whom he has 
healed disobeys his command to keep it silent, he retires into the 
wilderness to escape the inevitable effect of this publicity. 

Now Mk.'s method begins to appear. Jesus does not lay down 
a programme of the Messianic kingdom in a set discourse, but the 
principles regulating his activity are slowly evolved by the occa- 
sions of his life. And after the same fashion Jesus himself begins 
to appear on the canvas — a herald of the kingdom of God, a 
teacher, a prophet, a miracle-worker, who represses and depre- 
cates the impetuous desire of the multitude to emphasize the 
miracle-worker rather than the prophet. This is the picture so 
far, and it is full of promise and suggestion. 

Then in connection with another miracle, Jesus claims the 
power as the Son of Man to forgive sins. The way it happened 
was this : the man's disease was occasioned by some vice, and 
Jesus announces the cure therefore as a forgiveness of the sins 
which had caused it. Then, this being challenged by the Scribes 
as blasphemy, he adduces the cure itself as an example of the 
power which he had to remove the evils caused by sin. Here is 
another step forward, for here is a real, but veiled claim of a 
Messianic title, and the authority coupled with it is that of for- 
giveness, which forgiveness consists in the removal of the various 
ills of mankind wrought by sin. The Messianic claim is there, 
but it is veiled, for we do not find that the people understood him 
to make the claim, though after this he uses the title familiarly. 
And the title chosen, Son of Man, is such as to show that Jesus 
emphasized that side of his work which allied and identified him 
with man. 

This intimation that his work has to do with sin, as a physician 
has to do with disease, is repeated when he calls the tax-gatherer 
into the circle of his disciples, and defends himself by the state- 


ment that he came to call not righteous men, but sinners. And 
when they charge him with collusion with Satan in his expulsion 
of demons, his answer is substantially that his attitude is opposi- 
tion to Satan, and that his power to cast out demons can have 
been obtained only as the result of a conflict, in which he had 
overmastered Satan. Here, as in the case of the paralytic, this 
aspect of his work as a conflict with sin comes out in connection 
with his cures, and this is really the only chance that he has to 
present it, as he has had as yet very little opportunity to deal with 
sin as sin, only in its occasional intrusion into other than the moral 
sphere. But he deals with it as already master of the situation. 
He can despoil Satan of his instruments, because he has already 
met him and bound him. He can deal with sin in others victori- 
ously, because he has met and mastered it in himself. 

But meantime, another element in the situation is making itself 
felt. In dealing with the people, Jesus has to contend against a 
sudden and superficial popularity, and is able only to cure their 
diseases, not to cope with their sins. But the necessary and 
unavoidable conspicuousness of his work bring him under the 
notice of their leaders, and here he encounters active opposition. 
It develops only gradually. It is evident that the Scribes and 
Pharisees are watching him at first, as it is always possible that 
religious enthusiasm may play into the hands of the religious 
authorities. But the elements of opposition accumulate at every 
step. The first is the evident lack of sympathy or affiliation with 
them, and Jesus' association with men at the other end of the 
social and ecclesiastical scale, the despised people whose igno- 
rance of the law made them dangerous company for the scrupu- 
lous Pharisee, with the remote and insignificant Galilean, and even 
finally, the hated servant of a foreign government, the Jewish 
collector of Roman tribute. Jesus' answer, that, as a physician, 
his business is with the sick rather than the well, is complete, but 
like all such answers, it only increased the irritation. The next 
question is more vital, as it has to do not with themselves, but 
with their system. Pharisaic Judaism was the climax and reductio 
ad absurdum of religious formalism. For ethics it substituted 
casuistry, for principles rules, for insight authority, for worship 
forms, for the word of God tradition, for spirituality the most 
absolute and intricate externalism. Jesus did not seek to break 


with it, but it was inevitable that the break should come. The 
law prescribed an annual fast, but they had multiplied this into 
two a week, whereas, it is recorded of Jesus that he came eating 
and drinking, and himself called attention to this characteristic. 
When he is challenged about this practice of his disciples, he 
shows that fasting, like everything else that has a proper place in 
religion, is a matter of principle, and not of rule. Men are not to 
fast on set days, but on fit occasions. And in general, he shows 
the absurdity of attempting to piece out the old with the new, or 
to pour his new wine into their old wine-skins. The next place 
where they made a stand against Jesus' innovating views was in 
the matter of their absurd Sabbatarianism. That it was absurd, 
the occasions of their attack show ; first, plucking ears of corn to 
eat on the spot, and secondly, healing. These things, forsooth, 
were expressly forbidden on the Sabbath. In answer, Jesus does 
not attempt to meet them on the ground of casuistry, but, as 
usual, lays down principles. First, the Sabbath was made for 
man, and not man for the Sabbath ; and secondly, to refuse to 
confer a benefit in case of need is to inflict a positive injury, on 
the Sabbath as well as any other day. 

Here the narrative pauses, and passes over to other matter. 
But it is evident that Mk. has grouped this material for a purpose. 
He wishes to show how, with one occasion after another, the 
teaching of our Lord acquired substance and shape, and encoun- 
tered a sharp and well-defined opposition. And how boldly and 
greatly the figure of Jesus himself begins to stand out. How it is 
becoming evident that sanity, breadth, insight, ethical and spiritual 
quality, are in this man not relative, but absolute. And as he 
faces the gathering storm, how steadfast he is, and regardless of 
everything but truth. 

It needs only a little reading between the lines to see how the 
next events come in. The evidence is accumulating that our 
Lord's own career is to last not very long, and that he must have 
followers, successors, to whom he can commit his work, and that 
these must be men whose close attendance on himself will famil- 
iarize them with his message. Hence the twelve are appointed. 
And it is expressly stated that his family had started out to restrain 
him, at the time when he pointed out that his real family were the 
disciples who did the will of God. His own family was not to be 


classed among his enemies, but it is evident that they sought to 
protect him against what they considered his own extravagance. 

And the parables also grew out of the immediate situation. 
They are the first direct statement of the nature of the kingdom 
of God. The postponement of the subject, and the veiled pre- 
sentation of it, both show it to be a matter that Jesus approached 
with extreme caution. But what he treated with so much reserve 
in the presence of the others, he explained frankly to his disciples. 
This means that the time had come when the situation, even 
among the disciples, needed clearing up. They were not repelled 
by his differences with the Pharisees ; the indications are rather 
that they were in sympathy with him. But their difficulty, which 
the parables were intended to meet, came from their sharing the 
national expectation, that the kingdom was to be set up by a tour 
de force, an expectation which Jesus' methods and delay, if not 
defeat, discouraged. This is the immediate occasion of the para- 
bles. But their immense importance appears from the fact that 
they are the only direct statement of the nature of the kingdom, 
which otherwise we should have to gather from side-lights and 
inferences. The kingdom is seed ; it is subject to all the vicissi- 
tudes of seed sown broadcast into all kinds of soil ; it is neverthe- 
less sure of success because it is native to the soil ; humanity as 
such is hospitable to it, and its small beginnings do not interfere 
with ultimate greatness. 

The next event requiring special notice is Jesus' visit to Naza- 
reth, where he encounters his first rejection. Other places have 
known only the greatness of his public life, Nazareth, unfortu- 
nately, knows the obscurity of his private life, and they reject his 
greatness as spurious. Here, therefore, he finds even his miracles 
impossible, whereas in other places, cut off from everything else, 
he does find a place for these. Jesus marvelled at their unbelief, 
and no wonder. It was here that this perfect life had matured, 
grown into an unmatched beauty and power, and yet they had 
missed it all because it lacked outward greatness. But one is 
reminded by this episode of a singular fact in our Lord's life — 
that he appears largely as a miracle-worker. It was not a role 
that he coveted, but, for the most part, it was all that he could do. 
We have some record of the way in which he dealt with the other 
and larger half of human ill and need. We have the story of 


Matthew and Zacchaeus, and the sinful woman, and the rich young 
man, and Peter ; we know that he was the friend of publicans and 
sinners. But, for the most part, he was shut out from all this, and 
shut up to physical healings. Even here, he found a unique field 
for the display of his greatness. His possession of a divine power 
he shared with other men, but his divine use of that power is 
his own ; he shares it with no one. But if he had had an equal 
chance to show us the other side of his power, what a story there 
might have been. 

But the time has now come for Jesus to try his disciples in the 
work. They have heard his message and seen his miracles, and 
he sends them out to carry forward both the preaching and the 
healing. His instructions to them are, briefly, to pay no attention 
to outfit nor entertainment, but to be occupied solely with their 

On Jesus' return to Capernaum, the opposition to him comes to 
a head. His enemies are there on the watch for him, and in that 
apparently careless and unscrupulous life they soon find their 
opportunity. To be sure, it seems only a slight thing that the dis- 
ciples should be eating with unwashed hands. But to those men 
it meant liability to every defilement mentioned in the law. It is 
their opportunity, but then it is Jesus' opportunity too. It gives 
him his chance to strike at traditionalism and ceremonialism, the 
twin foes of spiritual religion. Over against tradition, he sets the 
word of God, — against the idea that a thing is true because it is 
handed down, he posits the word of God, which becomes more 
true as humanity grows. And against ceremonialism, the idea 
that man's spirit can be reached for either good or evil from the 
outside, he puts the eternal truth, that it is reached and affected 
only from within, by things akin to itself. 

This really marks the end of Jesus' work in Galilee. It has 
resulted in proving the inaccessibility of the people to his spiritual 
work, in the unsympathetic attitude of his family, in his total 
rejection at Nazareth, and in active hostility on the part of the 
religious leaders. But his work with his disciples is not ended, 
and he accordingly departs with them to Syrophoenicia. Here, 
he desired to keep his presence unknown, as his work was not 
with Gentiles, but Jews. But the extraordinary faith of the Syro- 
phcenician woman overcame his scruples, so that he healed her 


daughter. This confinement of his work on earth to his own 
nation, while evidently announcing the broadest universalism, is 
easily explained. He was laying foundations, and the human 
material for that, such as it was, existed in only one nation. 

On the occasion of only a brief return to Galilee, during this 
Wanderjahr, the Pharisees make another attack on him, demand- 
ing a sign from heaven. They want something plainly and indis- 
putably of heavenly origin, not open to the suspicion of collusion 
with Satan, nor of originating in the lower air, and plainly nothing 
more nor less than an attestation by God of our Lord's claim. 
Something merely a sign, not complicated with other characters 
and purposes which might obscure the plain issue, was their 
demand. Jesus refused it. He would do his work, including 
cures and miracles, and let that tell his story, but a mere sign he 
refused to give. We must pause again to notice Mk.'s method, 
and to say now that it bears all the appearance of being the 
method of Jesus himself. He meets questions as they arise, 
instead of projecting discourse from himself. But the wisdom 
and completeness of his answer anticipates the controversies of 
Christendom. This question of signs, e.g., of external evidence, 
our Lord answers by refusing a sign, and he emphasizes it by his 
allusion to the generation which had seen him. He was his own 
sign, and needed no other. The question belonged to that age, 
but no age nor any other man has arrived at the wisdom of the 

We are coming now to the close of Jesus' ministry, and his 
method has not yet led him to any declaration of himself nor of 
his mission. It would almost seem as if he had no consciousness 
of a mission of any definite sort, so content has he been to let 
things merely happen, great as has been his use of these happen- 
ings. But now the time has come, not for him to declare himself, 
but to bring the thought of men about him into expression. And 
first of all, his own disciples. He asks them what men say about 
him, — what they call him. They say briefly, a prophet. Then 
he asks them if that is all they have to say. No, Simon Peter 
says ; we call you the Messiah. The value of this is in the fact, 
that it is not their assent to his claim, but their estimate of his 
greatness. They, as Jews, had inherited an idea, an expectation 
of a man in whom human greatness was to culminate. As far as 


Jesus' activity went, the answer of the people was enough. But 
the feeling of the disciples was, it may describe his activity, but is 
inadequate to describe his own greatness. The race has culmi- 
nated in him, and he is therefore the Messiah whom we are to 

There are two things noticeable here : first, the title itself, and 
then the manner of its assumption. It is no wonder that Jesus 
was dissatisfied with the title prophet, when his real title was king, 
king of men. And when we examine what he says in elucidation 
of this claim, we find that there are just two things which he 
emphasizes as involved in this, viz. love and obedience. Careless 
of everything else, he proposes to himself just this, to conquer for 
himself the love and obedience of all men everywhere and in all 
things. There is no lack of definiteness nor adequacy in this. 
And yet, though Jesus is very explicit in this, we are altogether 
missing the point, as usual. We are very busy organizing his 
church, devising the ways and means of his worship, defining his 
person, and meantime the world, the flesh, and the devil are 
dictating terms not only to government and society, but to the 
church. They are well satisfied to have the church scatter its 
fire, instead of concentrating its energy upon doing the will of its 
Lord, and getting that will done. But besides the title, and of 
almost equal importance with it, is the manner of its assumption. 
Jesus waits for men to give it to him. This does not mean any 
lowering of his claims, any disposition to meet men half-way, and 
accept some compromise with them. It means just the opposite 
of this, the most absolute and apparently extravagant claim that 
he could make. It means mastery, not from without, but from 
within, — a mastery of convictions, affections, and will, and from 
that centre controlling the whole of life. He will have, not the 
enforced obedience of men who would throw off the yoke if they 
could, or any part of it, but the self-devotion and homage of those 
who come voluntarily to him, — the unforced mastery of man over 
man. By this means, and in this sense, he will rule the world. 
To be sure, since it is included in his programme that he is to die 
and still be king, that rule is to be exercised from heaven, that 
centre from which the network of law and self-enforcing order 
overspreads the world. But that universal law leaves one domain 
free, and within the sphere of human action it exercises no com- 


pulsions but those which leave the spirit free. And yet within 
that province, it is meant that God shall exercise absolute control. 

This is the meaning of our Lord's words in the light of all that 
he said and did, and of all that has happened since. But at 
present, he has said only that he is king, — the Messianic king, 
and he has said it to men sure to misunderstand it if he leaves it 
in its present unconditional form. Hence he immediately puts 
over against it the prediction of his own fate. He is to be 
rejected and put to death. Their idea of the Messianic king was 
that through him righteousness was to be victorious. God had 
been holding off for his own wise purposes, not asserting himself, 
but in the times of the Messiah, he was to intervene with his 
almightiness, and sin was to be put down, and righteousness 
established. And this power to put down all enemies was to be 
lodged in the Messiah. This was the Jewish Messianic pro- 
gramme. We have seen already that Jesus, in all probability, did 
not, at any time before his death, predict his violent death and 
his resurrection with any definiteness. The utter dismay of the 
disciples over the actual event, their hopelessness between the 
death and the resurrection, and their failure to accept the fact of 
the resurrection, make such a prediction psychologically impos- 
sible. But it is equally evident that he did make statements 
which, in the light of the later events, they saw implied and 
involved those events. And this means Jesus' repudiation of the 
Jewish Messianic programme. His enemies were not to be in his 
power, but he in theirs. God was not to intervene in his behalf, 
nor was his own divine power to be used in this way. 

But Jesus is not satisfied with the statement about himself, 
which might make it appear that his fate was unique, and that his 
case stood by itself. But he goes on to state that any one who 
wishes to follow him must deny himself and take his life in his 
hands in the same way. In his kingdom, to save is to lose, and 
the only way to save is to lose. Instead of getting God on his 
side so that he is saved from the ordinary mishaps of life, the 
disciple only multiplies indefinitely the chances of mishap without 
adding anything to the safeguards. Any one can see that if 
righteousness was to become a spiritual power in the world, it 
could only be by such a sacrifice of safety. A padded and steel- 
clad righteousness protects the person, but its power to propagate 


is gone. And as we have seen, the Transfiguration itself was not 
a revelation of the glory that was covered up and concealed by 
this human weakness of our Lord, but of the glory of the sacrifice 
itself. It is as much as to say that gentleness, self-effacement, 
and weakness, instead of power, are in themselves glorious, and 
are to be crowned. 

But the disciples themselves give Jesus an opportunity to define 
himself still further. They were disputing who among their num- 
ber was greatest. He does not deny that there is such a thing, 
nor that it is to be coveted, but it is the greatness of humility and 
service. In the world, greatness is the power to make others 
tributary to yourself, but in the kingdom of God, the greatness 
even of the king is service, the power to contribute to the com- 
mon weal. 

At last, then, Jesus has declared himself. He is the divinely 
appointed king of men, and as such demands obedience, and 
finds greatness in service. But the obedience is to be voluntary 
and unenforced, and his own road to kingship is through repudia- 
tion and death. This absolute self-effacement is, moreover, the 
principle of the kingdom, and required of all its members. 

From this, he passes over again to more incidental matters. 
John brings to his attention the case of a man whom they had 
caught casting out demons in his name, but who had not attached 
himself to the circle of disciples. Jesus' reply is, virtually, that 
they ought to have inferred from his casting out the demons that 
he really belonged with them, instead of from his not associating 
with them that he had no right to cast out the demons. This 
shows that whatever exclusiveness has grown up since then among 
his followers did not originate with Jesus. He did not organize a 
society, though his principles justify the later organization ; but 
those principles exclude a hierarchy. 

With the beginning of Jesus' ministry in Judaea, begins a series 
of discourses occasioned by the attempt of the Pharisees to put his 
authority as a teacher to the test, and, if possible, to discredit it. 
In general, the questions propounded were either in dispute be- 
tween the different schools, or the standing puzzles of the school- 
men. It is significant, as showing that Mk.'s development of 
Jesus' position in occasional, rather than set, discourse, is the 
method of Jesus himself, that some of his most important teach- 


ing is occasioned by these questions. And it shows his position 
as a teacher that these answers are final, revealing in every case 
the principles involved. His treatment of divorce is one of the 
safeguards of civilization. His answer to the question about pay- 
ing tribute to the Roman government shows that citizenship in 
the kingdom of God does not conflict with citizenship in the 
State. The one, as the other, is based on fundamental facts. 
Their question is an inference from their political conception of 
the kingdom of God. His answer is a corollary from his spiritual 
conception. His answer to the Sadducees about the resurrection 
not only puts that question to rest, but establishes the right to 
argue from fundamental conceptions of God, the right of reason 
in matters of faith. In what he says about the two great com- 
mands, he establishes fundamental principles and sentiments in- 
stead of rules, in control of life. But more than this, he selects 
the one principle that does contain in itself all righteousness, and 
which still condemns the essential parts of life. And still more, 
he shows the final and conclusive reason why the kingdom is 
spiritual. Outward conduct can be controlled by civil authority, 
but love is capable of only inward enforcement. 

Meantime, other things have been happening by which his posi- 
tion is still further defined. The scene with the rich young man 
whose wealth alone kept him from following our Lord leads him 
to say that his difficulty is not peculiar to him, but belongs to his 
class. The difficulty that all men have in accepting the principle 
of the kingdom becomes, in the case of wealth, a human impossi- 
bility to be overcome only by God. This means only that the 
principle of the kingdom is self-sacrifice and love, and that the 
acquisition and possession of wealth, on the other hand, tend 
almost certainly to selfishness. 

Christ's entry into Jerusalem is his public claim of the Messianic 
kingship. This is followed immediately by his one act of author- 
ity, the cleansing of the temple. But the power is only that of a 
masterful personality, — the power of a prophet or righteous man. 
But he not only claims authority for himself, he denies the author- 
ity of the constituted authorities to judge his claim. He puts 
them to the test, as they have put him, by putting them a ques- 
tion in regard to John the Baptist, which will show whether they 
can judge such a case or not. The question of authority in 


the kingdom of God is a question of fitness, of ability to do the 

Jesus has one more word to say to his disciples. It is the pre- 
diction of the destruction of the temple, city, and nation, and the 
transfer of the kingdom from them to others. He sees that their 
rejection of a spiritual Messiah, and their insistence on political 
independence and greatness, will certainly lead to destruction. 
That, moreover, will be a coming of the Son of Man in clouds, 
clothed with power. Not that that will be the beginning of his 
reign, for he is to be seated at the right hand of power, and to 
come in the clouds, immediately. But this is to be his first great 
appearance as the arbiter of human affairs. The overthrow of 
the nation will come directly, as for the divine side of it, not by 
force, but by the inevitable operation of cause and effect, from 
the denial of his principle of a spiritual kingdom. And so, by the 
operation of the same inexorable law working in human affairs, his 
principles are to be everywhere vindicated. And at the same 
time, the spiritual power accumulated in his life and death are to 
be wielded by him in the spiritual sphere, until finally, in the 
exercise of both powers, his kingdom becomes universal. 

Two things remain to be spoken of: the death of Jesus, and 
his enshrinement of that in a memorial rite. The way has been 
opening ever since that time for a right understanding of that 
event, and yet even now one needs to weigh his words to speak 
with even partial truth about it, let alone adequacy. In the first 
place, then, looked at simply as a matter governed by the ordinary 
conditions of human life, it was natural and necessary. Nothing 
else could come of the opposition that he encountered from the 
religious and civil authority. There were two ways of escape 
morally possible to any other man, but not to him. One was to 
compromise in some way with the authorities, or to make some 
alliance with the people, that should neutralize the opposition of 
the Sanhedrim. His insight, his grasp of principles, his mastery 
of the situation, his influence with the people, might have given 
him political power, to which his instinct for righteousness would 
have given the last touch of greatness. But that was the way of 
compromise, which was demanded at every turn of the perplexing 
situation. And that admits us to one secret of the uniqueness of 
Jesus' death. It was entirely for righteousness' sake. The oppo- 


sition to him was purely on that account, unmixed with any other 
oppositions or repugnances, growing out of the ordinary weakness 
or disagreeableness of men. But Jesus died because his righteous- 
ness was uncompromising and absolute, not because its manner 
was hard and obtrusive. Another way of escape was by the use 
of his supernatural power. Both friends and enemies saw this. 
The Jews did not expect deliverance, except supernaturally, and 
the hope of the people was that Jesus, who evidently possessed 
this power, would use it in the appointed way. And the Jews 
taunted him, because at the last moment his power had forsaken 
him. But Jesus died because he would do his work as a man, 
and under the ordinary conditions and limitations of humanity. 

In other words, Jesus' death crowned the complete self-surren- 
der of his life. All of us know that just here is where ordinary 
righteousness is lacking. It is righteousness with a saving clause. 
We follow it just so far as it does not involve a complete sacrifice 
of self-interest. Some draw the line in one place, and some in 
another, but everybody somewhere. Jesus seeing more clearly 
than any other the sacrifice involved, undertook the task of abso- 
lute righteousness, and carried it out to the end. And he would 
accept no immunity, wield no power, and exercise no self-defence, 
that would mar the completeness of that ideal. 

But he was, nevertheless, king. He did not propose to himself 
simply to be righteous, in which case men might have let him 
alone. He proposed to establish this complete, and principled, 
and radical righteousness in the world as its supreme law. Men 
felt in his first words the note of authority, and he did not attempt 
in any way to disguise the uncompromising nature of his demand. 
He told them that if any one would follow him, he must deny 
himself as he did. And in his own life, he showed them how, at 
every turn, the acceptance of this principle involved the hostility, 
not of the vicious and degraded, but that opposition of the con- 
stituted authorities, and of the higher class, which means loss of 

But we must not think of Jesus' death as simply sacrifice to a 
principle. He died primarily because he loved men supremely. 
He was the Son of Man, whose life was bound up with the life of 
the world, who was identified with humanity. Here was where the 
danger came of abating any of the demand that he made upon 



men, since in the law which he sought to enforce is the only true 
life of man, and any abatement meant something less than his 
highest good. Nay, more, it meant the admission somewhere of 
the opposite principle to sap and undermine the whole fabric, 
and the danger also of abating any of the rigor of his demand 
upon himself, since his own righteousness was the foundation of 
his authority, and loss of power here meant loss of power to confer 
this highest good. 

And here is where the bitterness of his death came in. Here 
was a man who loved men supremely, to whom any evil or lack 
of men was known so surely and felt so deeply, and to whom in 
his own death was revealed the whole depth and bitterness of that 
human ill which was to find its only cure in him. 

And, finally, it is this self-surrendering love which makes the 
cross to-day the very seat and secret of his power. For love is 
Lord of life, and love culminated here. It is the constraint and 
inspiration of his love that makes him king of men. A clear- 
sighted and far-seeing love which chose for himself the thorn- 
crowned road to power and kingship, and that leads men over the 
same long and hard way to ultimate and complete good. 

And, as we have said, he enshrines this death in a memorial 
rite. He bids men take the bread, which is his body, and the 
cup, which is his blood, and find in them the food and drink of 
their souls. It is in his death that he wishes especially to be 
remembered. But, above all, it is in his death that he wishes to 
be understood, and to have himself brought intimately into the 
life of men, until the things that made him die have become the 
material and substance of man's spiritual life. 


The reason that this subject is given a large place in N.T. 
Introduction is the fact that prominent and influential literature 
will leave its traces upon other writings just as soon as that litera- 
ture has time to circulate, and so the later literature becomes a 
witness to the earlier. Especially is that the case with what is 
called Scripture. Scripture is a court of appeal in regard to 
religious matters to which other writers on the same subject 
necessarily refer, and that a thing is written, that is, a part of 
Scripture, establishes its authority. In turn, other religious litera- 
ture becomes thereby a test by which we may determine whether 
any particular writing which claims to be Scripture is put in that 
category at any period, or is extant even. For instance, if we 
found Paul's writings generally accepted as Scripture, and, at the 
same time, lack of reference to Galatians, it would raise doubts 
about that epistle. However, Scripture is not in a class by itself 
in this matter ; it presents only an extreme case of a general fact 
which applies to all prominent and influential literature. The 
question whether the Gospels were in existence early in the sec- 
ond century — a really vital question — is one to be answered by 
the second-century literature. Considering the unique position 
of Jesus in Christianity, no writings of any account telling the 
story of his life are going to be ignored, — and this entirely apart 
from the question whether they are classed as Scripture. But 
there is another still more vital question, whether the Jesus of the 
Synoptical Gospels is a true, historical figure. Now, supposing 
that we found no special reverence attached to the Gospels them- 
selves, and yet nothing else quoted in the earliest succeeding 
Christian literature in regard to him, the inference would be con- 
clusive that these were regarded at the time as the only standard 
books on the subject, which would go far toward establishing the 
historical character of the writings themselves and of the person- 


age presented in them. But, on the other hand, supposing that 
this earliest succeeding literature quoted from other, extra-canon- 
ical sources freely and without apology, and yet the historical 
figure remained unchanged, the additional matter, whether meagre 
or abundant, being almost entirely in keeping with the account in 
the canonical Gospels, the historicity is more triumphantly estab- 
lished by the corroborative testimony than by the absence of other 
witness. In fact, this state of things in the second-century litera- 
ture would be the most favorable possible for historicity. And 
the historical character of these Gospels — not whether they are 
the only Gospels, nor even whether they are Scripture — is the 
main question in Apologetics. 

What, then, is the relation of the second- century literature to 
the Synoptical Gospels ? We have, in the first place, two epistles 
bearing the name of Clement of Rome. The second of these is 
wrongly attributed to Clement, but belongs to the same period. 
In the genuine epistle, then, the O.T. is quoted frequently and at 
great length. But the N.T. quotations are very few and meagre. 
With one exception, too, the writers are not mentioned. The 
words of our Lord are quoted as his, but not the writer who 
reports them. In one case, i Cor. is quoted as St. Paul's, but 
this stands alone. 1 The quotations from the Gospels are only two, 
and these are so inexact as to make it doubtful whether the writer 
had before him at the time our present Gospels. 2 

In the spurious writing, the number of quotations from the 
Gospel history is considerably greater, and the comparison with 
the amount of O.T. matter much more favorable. But, on the 
other hand, the mixed origin and uncertain character of these 
citations are equally noticeable. Four of them are quoted with 
considerable exactness. 3 Five are quoted ad sensum, but so as 
to indicate that the passages in our Gospels were in the writer's 
mind, but were cited by him from memory. 4 But three, which 
Lightfoot assigns to the Gospel of the Egyptians (?), contain 
strange matter. In one, our Lord says, " If you are gathered 

i Par. XLVII. 

2 Par. XIII. Mt. 5' 6" 7I 2 Lk. 631- 36-38 . XLVI. Mt. 2624 186 Mk. 1421 9*2 Lk. 2222 
i 7 i- 2. 

3 II. Mt. q13 Mk. 2^ ; III. Mk. 128" ; VI. Mt. 624 Lk. i613 Mt. i626 Mk. 836. 

4 III. Mt. io32 Lk. 128; IV. Mt. 721 ; VIII. Lk. i6™- " ; IX. Mt. 12W; XIII. 

Lk. 632- 35. 


with me in my bosom, and do not my commands, I will cast you 
out, and say to you, Depart from me, I know you not whence you 
are, workers of lawlessness." ■ In another, after Jesus' statement, 
" You will be as lambs in the midst of wolves," Peter says, " If 
then the wolves scatter the lambs ? " and Jesus answers, " Let 
not the lambs fear the wolves after their death. And you, fear 
not those who kill you, and can do nothing to you, but fear him 
who, after you die, has power over soul and body to cast into the 
Gehenna of fire." 2 Then, as to the coming of the kingdom, he 
says that it will be " whenever the two (things) are one, and the 
outside as the inside, and the male with the female, neither male 
nor female." 3 

In the seven epistles of Ignatius, quotations are infrequent, but 
the N.T. is treated quite as generously as the O.T. There are, 
however, only three unimportant passages from the Gospels, but, 
in these, the language is significantly preserved. 4 But, in a fourth, 
our Lord's language, " Handle me, and see. For a spirit hath not 
flesh and bones, as you see me have," becomes, " Handle me, and 
see that I am not a bodiless spirit " — Sai/xoviov. This use of 
BaL/xoviov is foreign to the N.T. vocabulary. 5 

The Epistle of Polycarp, belonging to the same period, bristles 
with quotations, mostly from the N.T. Of these, however, only 
five are from the Gospels. Of these, four preserve the language 
so as to show undisputed acquaintance with our Gospels, and 
without mixture of matter derived from other sources. 6 The fifth 
presents such a resemblance to the mixed quotation in Ep. of 
Clem. XIII. as to suggest a common extra-canonical source. 7 

In the Teaching of the Apostles, which belongs apparently to the 
very beginning of the century, there are sixteen quotations from 
the Synoptics. 8 In these, the words of our Lord are quoted quite 
exactly, the supplementary matter attached to them being evi- 
dently the writer's own reflections. But the title, which gives the 

i iv. 2 v. * XII. 

4 Eph. XIV. Mt. 1233; Smyrn. I. Mt. 3IS; VI. Mt. 1912; Poly. II. Mt. io". 

6 Smyrn. III. 

6 II. Mt. 58. 10; V. Mk. q35; VII. Mt. 613 2 6« Mk. 1488; XII. Mt. 5*4. 

7 II. Mt. 71- 2 Lk. 636-38. 

8 I. Mt. 2237- 39 S 44. 46 Lk. 627- 2«. 32. 33. 35 Mt. 539-42 Lk. 629. 30 Mt. 526 ; HI. Mt. 56 ; 

VII. Mt. 2819; VIII. Mt. 659-13 Lk. n2-4 ; IX. Mt. 76; X. Mt. 248!; XII. Mt. 2i9 
Mk. ii« Lk. 1988 ? XIII. Mt. 10W ; XVI. Mt. 251a Lk. 1235- « Mt. 2410. 24. 30 Lk. 21.1* 
Mt. 2 4 13. 30. 


authority of the apostles to an inferior and frequently trivial writing 
of the second century, is an instructive commentary on the way in 
which great names may be misused for pious purposes. 

The Epistle of Barnabas — not, however, the companion of Paul, 
and possibly no Barnabas at all — is rich again in O.T. quotations, 
but poor in N.T. sayings, there being only four quoted from the 
Synoptics. 1 

The Shepherd of Hernias contains infrequent reflections of 
scriptural language rather than quotations. The one quotation, 
therefore, of the language of Mk. in regard to the difficulty 
obstructing a rich man's entrance into the kingdom, is the more 
noteworthy. 2 

Justin Martyr is rich in quotations, which are not scattered, as 
in the other writers of this period, but collected mostly in a group 
in the first Apology, for the purpose of showing for apologetic 
purposes what our Lord's teaching was. The variations from the 
synoptical accounts would be more difficult to deal with, if we did 
not find the same freedom of quotation in the passages from the 
O.T. As it is, we have to find a common cause, and that is to be 
found in Justin's idiosyncrasy, which makes him more than usually 
independent and individual in his handling of quotations. E.g. he 
quotes our Lord thus : " If ye love them that love you, what new 
thing do you? For even fornicators do this." 3 This same "new 
thing " appears again just below in regard to lending with hope of 
return, and coupled with a like inexactness in regard to the sinners 
who do the same thing. 3 Again, " Whosoever shall be angry is in 
danger of the fire." 4 This is quoted quite out of its connection, 
and in the original, he who is angry is liable only to the judgment 
(of the local tribunal which tries minor offences), while only he 
who calls his brother a fool is liable to the Gehenna of fire. In 
the great commandment he makes our Lord require the worship 
of God alone, instead of love, and in this, and other places, 
he calls attention to God as the Creator, a pure interpolation. 4 
Another singular variation is in his quotation in regard to those 
who claim association with Christ, but whom he has to turn away 
as disobedient. He has mixed together here sayings from Mt. 

1 IV. Mt. 2 2 14; V. Mt. 913; VI. Mt. 20I6 ? XII. Mt. 2245. 3 i Apol. ch. 15. 

2 XX. Mk. io23- 24. 4 ! Apol. ch. 16. 


and Lk., and made the men say, " Did we not eat and drink in 
thy name? " instead of " in thy presence? " * On the whole, it is 
remarkable that with all this variation in form Justin quotes no 
extra-canonical sayings of our Lord. As for the peculiarities of 
these sayings, the combination of the different accounts in the 
Synoptics, a habit of free quotation, an evident eye for the point 
of a saying, which allows freedom of detail — in other words, the 
strong individuality of the writer — will account for these phe- 
nomena. But, on the other hand, Justin introduces several extra- 
canonical incidents. These are the birth of Jesus in a cave, 2 the 
miraculous fire in the Jordan at the baptism, 3 and the statement in 
regard to his work as a carpenter, that he made plows and yokes. 4 
These can be traced directly to their sources in uncanonical 
Gospels. The birth in a cave we find in the Protevangelium of 
James, and the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy; 5 the fire in the 
Jordan in the Gospel according to the Hebrews ; and the plows 
and yokes in the Gospel of Thomas. 6 This settles the fact that 
Justin used such writings. By parity of reasoning, if we trace the 
sayings, in spite of certain difficulties, to the Synoptics as the main 
source, these incidents are to be credited to uncanonical Gospels. 
Moreover, he quotes the Acts of Pilate in confirmation of the 
miracles, evidently referring to the testimony of those healed by 
Jesus at the time of his trial before Pilate. 7 On the whole then, 
the testimony is conclusive, that Justin used the Synoptics, but 
also other Gospels. 

Athenagoras, in his Apology, makes two quotations from Mt., 8 
and two in which he combines Mt. and Lk. 9 It has been doubted 
whether these are quotations, but the freedom of quotation is 
slight, certainly not greater than the N.T. writers use in quoting 
from the O.T. 

In the fragments preserved to us from Papias, the statements in 
regard to Mk.'s Gospel and the Logia of Mt. are the most impor- 
tant, and they occupy the same rank among the second-century wit- 
nesses to the canonical Gospels. 10 We should not expect to find 

1 Apol. ch. 16. 3 Dial, with Trypho, ch. 88. 

2 Dial, with Trypho, ch. 78. 4 Dial, with Trypho, ch. 89. 

5 Protev. of Jas. par. 18, 19; Arab. Gos. of Inf. par. 2, 3. 

6 Gos. Thos. par. 13. 9 Mt. s«. 45 Lk. 6-'" • 28 Mt. 5*6 Lk. 632. 34. 
' Apol. ch. 48 ; Acts of Pil. ch. 6, 7, 8. i° Euseb. Ch. His. III. 

8 Mt. 528 Mt. 199. 


much in the way of quotation, as he says expressly that he prefers 
the oral testimony of men who had associated with the disciples to 
anything that he could get from the books. 1 But he does make 
one quotation from Mk. 2 He is one writer who gives us distinctly 
strange, apocryphal matter in regard to Jesus' life and teachings, 
the general absence of which is so noteworthy and important in 
this second-century literature. 3 

In Tatian, a heretical writer of the last part of the century, 
before the discovery of the Diatessaron, there was little contribut- 
ing to our subject. The only complete work of his, at that time, 
an oration to the Greeks, contains several quotations from J., but 
none from the Synoptics. But, in a few fragments preserved in 
other writings, we find two quotations from the Synoptics. 4 The 
Diatessaron of Tatian, however, a compilation of the four Gospels 
made some time in the third quarter of the century, is one of the 
most important of the recent discoveries. It was partly known 
before through a commentary of Ephraem the Syrian. The only 
important omissions are the genealogies of our Lord in Mt. and 
Lk., and the account of the woman taken in adultery from J. 8. 
The genealogies were omitted, not as a matter of evidence, but of 
opinion. The Appendix to Mk. is inserted, but this is not impor- 
tant, as we already have the testimony of the versions to its exist- 
ence in the early part of the century, and the real question of its 
authorship remains untouched. But the real value of the Dia- 
tessaron is in the fact, established at last, that it was compiled 
from the four canonical Gospels, and from no other source. The 
importance of this is unmistakable. 

In the Clementine Homilies, an Ebionite production of the 
latter part of the century, falsely ascribed to Clement of Rome, 
there are over seventy quotations from the Synoptics, and thirteen 
either entirely strange, or very considerably modifying the synop- 
tical account. Our Lord is represented as exhorting his disciples to 
become good money-changers, which obtains a significant meaning 
from the mixed quality ascribed to the Scriptures in the Homilies, 
making it necessary to discriminate carefully between the good 

1 yerm. de vir Must. 18; Eus. III. 39; Georg. Hamartolus. Chron. 

2 Mk. io3»- 39. 

3 Iren. Her. V. 33, 3, 4 ; Cramer, Catena ad Acta S. S. Apos. p. 12 sq. 
* Clem. Alex. III. 12, 86; Mt. 619 Lk. 20»5. 


and bad, between the genuine and counterfeit coin of Scriptures. 1 
In the same connection occurs several times a serious modification 
of the text in which our Lord charges the Sadducees with not 
knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God, where, for " the 
Scriptures " is substituted " the true things of Scripture," distin- 
guished from the false. 1 In the account of the Syrophcenician 
woman, her name is given as Justa, and the account of the con- 
versation is paraphrased. 2 But this is a part of the romancing of 
this work, and does not need to be treated seriously. Several 
times the saying, "The tempter is the wicked one," is attributed 
to our Lord. 3 The idea of the money-changers is extended into 
this saying : " It is thine, O man, to prove my words, as silver and 
money are proved among the exchangers." 4 The blessing which 
Jesus pronounces on the faithful servant is changed to a blessing 
on " the man whom the Lord shall appoint to the ministry of his 
fellow-servants." 6 His prediction that many shall come from the 
east and west, and recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the 
kingdom of God, is changed to " many will come from the east, 
west, north, and south, and will recline on the bosom of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob." 6 "Gold and silver, and the luxury of this 
world," are added to the things promised to Jesus by Satan in the 
temptation. 7 Different parts are run together in the saying about 
false teachers, so that it reads : " Many will come to me in sheep's 
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." 8 So also Justin, 
Apol. i. ch. 1 6. And Satan is made to promise to " send apostles 
from among his subjects to deceive." 8 As an offset to the state- 
ment that stumbling-blocks must come, but woe to him through 
whom they come, Jesus says that " good things must come, and 
blessed is he through whom they come." 9 And then we have the 
entirely strange exhortation, " Give no pretext to the evil one," 10 
and this enlargement of the idea of the fxvo-Trjpiov in our Lord's 
remarks on his parabolic teaching, " Keep the mysteries for me 
and the sons of my house." u 

The apocryphal Gospels are of interest, not because they con- 
tain important matter, most of it being quite trivial and impossible, 
but because they are the only writings outside of the canonical 

i II. ch. si; III. ch. 50; XVIII. ch. 20. 6 VIII. ch. 4. » XII. ch. 29. 

2 II. ch. 19. 4 ni. ch. 61. i VIII. ch. 21. 10 XIX. ch. 2. 

3 III. ch. 55. 5 ill. ch. 60. 8X1. ch. 35. "XIX. ch. 20. 


Gospels which carry that name. Their date is very uncertain, but 
one of them, the lately discovered Gospel of Peter, is assigned a 
place in the second century. The Protevangelium of James, the 
Arabic Gospel of the Infancy, the Gospel according to the He- 
brews, and the Gospel of Thomas contain the apocryphal matter 
of Justin, whether they are the source of it or not ; and the Acts 
of Pilate are quoted by Justin by name. 1 Now, it is evident all 
through this second-century literature that the writers had and 
used other sources of information, in regard to the Gospel history, 
outside of the canonical Gospels, and Lk. himself speaks of many 
such accounts. The interest that attaches to these apocryphal 
Gospels, therefore, is that they are the only literary remains of 
this kind that have come down to us. What are they therefore ? 
They are mostly incredible accounts of the birth and infancy of 
Jesus himself, of his mother, of Joseph, of the trial of our Lord 
before Pilate, of his descent into Hades, and finally a docetic 
account of his death. The only extra-canonical matter in the 
second-century literature which can be traced to them is what 
relates to the infancy, the private life, and the baptism of Jesus, 
and possibly the rehearsal of the miracles in the Acts of Pilate. 
The unwritten sayings, and unfamiliar forms of the written sayings, 
are not to be found in them. While there are, therefore, extra- 
canonical sources quoted by the second-century writers, these 
Gospels can figure only slightly among these sources. 

The earliest attempt at a canon, or authoritative list of N.T. 
writings, did not come from an orthodox source, but was pub- 
lished by Marcion, a Gnostic heretic of the latter half of the cen- 
tury. He declared war against Judaism, and, since he believed 
the original apostles to be Judaistic in their tendency, he rejected 
them, and, with them, all the extant N.T. writings, except ten 
epistles of Paul (omitting the pastoral epistles) and a Gospel. 2 
What this Gospel was, we have to gather from Tertullian, who 
wrote at length against him, and this question has been one of the 
most debated critical problems, opinion wavering between a muti- 
lated Lk., and an earlier Gospel on which Lk. was based. Either 
theory makes Marcion a witness for Lk.'s Gospel, and certainly no 

1 See paragraph on Justin Martyr. 

2 Tertullian vs. Marcion V. 21, IV. 2, 3. 


other theory is possible in view of the Pauline universalism that 
characterizes this Gospel. 

When we come to the close of the century, we are at last in the 
presence of a canon, not the same as our present canon, nor a 
definitely settled list, but still a selection of Christian literature 
regarded as Scripture, and put on the same footing as the O.T. 
Among the witnesses to this is the canon of Muratori. This was 
discovered in Milan during the seventeenth century ; the manu- 
script belongs to the eighth or ninth century, and the writing 
claims for itself a second-century date. Though this latter date is 
in dispute, it is probable if we make it late in the century. Unfor- 
tunately, there is a gap at the very beginning, so that Lk. is the 
first Gospel mentioned. But as the mention begins with the title, 
"Third book of the Gospel according to Lk.," it becomes a wit- 
ness to the four Gospels, and to an acceptance of these among 
the rest as authoritative. 

What, then, is the conclusion of the whole matter? Clement 
makes two quotations, the canonical source of which is doubtful. 
Pseudo-Clement gives twelve, — nine of them canonical but free, 
and three extra-canonical ; Ignatius, four, — one of them probably 
uncanonical; Polycarp, five, — four canonical but free, and one 
probably extra-canonical ; the Didache, sixteen, quite canonical ; 
Pseudo-Barnabas, four, canonical ; Shepherd of Hermas, one, nor- 
mal ; the rest mere reflections of Scripture. Justin quotes largely 
but freely, and introduces incidents from apocryphal sources, one 
of which, the Acts of Pilate, he cites by name as authority for the 
miracles of our Lord ; Athenagoras, four, quoted freely ; Papias, 
one from Mk., with distinctly apocryphal matter. The Clementine 
Homilies give us canonical and uncanonical matter in the propor- 
tion of about seventy to thirteen. One of these, about good 
money-changers, is a distinct addition to the probable sayings of 
our Lord. Finally, we have the testimony of Papias to the com- 
position of Mk., and of the Logia, the probable witness of Marcion 
to Lk., the more than probable testimony of the Canon of Mura- 
tori to the canonical Gospels, and the Diatessaron of Tatian, with 
its unmistakable use of the four Gospels as the exclusive source of 
information about the Gospel history. The conclusions are inevi- 
table : first, that the second-century literature certainly uses extra- 
canonical sources of information about our Lord, and does it freely 


and without apology ; secondly, that the four Gospels were the main 
stream to which the rest was tributary, — the standard writings on 
the subject ; thirdly, they were not Scripture in the sense which we 
attach to that word, — they were not separated from other writ- 
ings by any such line ; fourthly, that the amount and importance 
of extra- canonical matter is after all small. Substantially, the 
Jesus of the second-century literature is the Jesus of the Gospels. 
This fact is, as we have seen, the most important and favorable 
result to be obtained, more important in every way than the 
attempted exclusion of extra-canonical sources. The unrestricted 
use of extra-canonical sources, without any important change of 
the record or of the historical figure, is an ideal result. 


What we may call the newer criticism of the Gospels accepts 
the historical character of those writings as being substantially 
contemporaneous history. It receives our present Gospel of 
Mk., and the Logia of Mt., both of them coming from the inner 
circle of the disciples, as the basis of our Synoptical Gospels. 
Criticism thus confines itself at present — and this may be taken 
as an ultimate position — to the details of these documents, and 
has ceased to attack, or even to minimize, the historicity of the 
documents themselves. But there is one reservation which some 
of the critics feel themselves justified in making as one of the 
axioms, — the accepted data of historical criticism, — the axiom, 
namely, that miracles do not happen. How plausible this position 
is becomes evident when we consider how universally, and as a 
matter of course, we apply it outside of the Biblical history. And, 
in general, we can say with perfect confidence that the grounds 
on which it rests are such as to establish the a priori improbability 
of any miracle, and to justify historical criticism in scrutinizing 
with extreme care any story of supernatural happenings. If we 
ask, then, in this matter, for an ultimate result, an accepted con- 
clusion, we shall not find it. But, on the other hand, the acknowl- 
edged historicity of the Gospels, we believe, carries with it a 
strong presumption of the verity of the miraculous element in 
their story. And when we add to this the verisimilitude of these 
miracles, we are convinced that the inherent improbability is, in 
the case of these miracles, quite overcome. It is a modification 
of this adverse criticism when the miracles are reduced, as they 
are by some critics, to those cures which can be explained by the 
extraordinary action of Jesus' unique personality on the minds of 
men, and the reaction of this on their bodies. 

This review of the literature is confined to the writers repre- 
senting conspicuously this newer criticism. This is done with 



more confidence because they are, for the most part, trustworthy 
exegetical guides, and in this department, as in that of criticism, 
give a largely antiquarian or historical interest to the preceding 

The first of these is Meyer, whose commentary on the entire 
N.T. — that part of it written by himself, including everything 
from Mt. to the pastoral epistles — being easily first among com- 
mentaries. He had the exegetical faculty beyond all other com- 
mentators, so that you can omit any other in studying a book, but 
Meyer no scholar can omit. He represents the school of which 
we are speaking, accepting the history, criticising the details with 
combined freedom and caution, and, as for miracles, accepting 
the general fact while criticising single cases. 

The next is Weiss, the posthumous editor of Meyer, with a 
commentary of his own on Mk. and its Synoptical parallels, a Life 
of our Lord, an Lntroduction to the N. T., and a Biblical Theology 
of the N. T. Like Meyer, he is a conservative critic, but far 
behind Meyer in the keenness and sureness of his exegetical 
sense. In his treatment of the Gospels especially, we have to 
deal with idiosyncracies of opinion that make one forget the real 
value of his contribution to biblical learning. At the very outset, 
he denies that our Lord's teachings form an independent, and 
especially a superior, source of Christian doctrine. This is not of 
so much consequence, but the reason for it betrays a singular lack 
of discernment, and involves a far-reaching and destructive theory 
of the Gospels. It is that the source of both these and the other 
N.T. writings is apostolic, and that therefore you cannot expect 
any different view of the Gospel in the one and the other. This 
is to forget several essential things. First, the act of reporting is 
distinct from that of original presentation ; and my ability to keep 
myself out of a report is a test of my fitness. Just how far it is 
done has to be decided in each case j and there are decisive 
proofs that the Synoptical writers have made a considerable suc- 
cess of it. In the first place, while the Synoptics are not inde- 
pendent, there are two distinct sources of their account, viz. Mk.'s 
apostolic authority and the Logia of Mt. But the unity of the 
matter drawn from these sources — the impress of one strongly 
differentiated and individual personality upon it all — is the most 
marked impression left by the three accounts. Furthermore, the 


person and teaching of our Lord in them make a distinct type, 
with individual characteristics that make them stand out as clearly 
as the figure of St. Paul. To take one instance of the way in 
which the apostolic source has reported teaching different from 
the apostolic teaching about the same, — it taught the immediate- 
ness of the second visible coming of our Lord, but it does not 
report him as teaching the same. Another example of the way in 
which the Christ of the apostolic source is differentiated from its 
representation of the same thing in other persons is its story of 
his miracles compared with the morals of the apostolic miracles. 
Again, Weiss maintains that Jesus upheld the entire Jewish law, — 
ceremonial and moral alike, — but without the traditions of the 
Pharisees. It is enough to say, in reply to this, that Jesus abol- 
ished the distinction between clean and unclean, and denied the 
possibility of external defilement of the inner man. But the diffi- 
culty lies deeper. It involves forgetfulness of the conflict between 
priest and prophet in the O.T. itself, and of the impossibility that 
any man should maintain both sides of an irrepressible conflict. 
It represents our Lord, of all men that ever lived, as unable to 
distinguish between things that differ. Finally, Weiss asserts that 
it was the intention of Jesus to set up a political kingdom in 
Judaea in accordance with the national expectation, and in fulfil- 
ment of the natural and obvious meaning of the prophecies j only, 
it was to be a righteous kingdom j — it required as the indispen- 
sable condition the conversion of the nation, and it was to be 
established as the voluntary act of the people, not by violence. 
The point is, however, that the kingdom was to come by a Divine 
tour de force. The form which it ultimately took, involving the 
final overthrow of the national hope, was due to the final refusal 
of the people to repent. Here is a place in which definitions and 
discriminations are absolutely necessary. If by a political king- 
dom is meant an enforced rule, — and this is the only meaning 
that accorded with the national expectation, — then Jesus did not 
intend nor expect any such kingdom. All that he says implies a 
spiritual kingdom, with worldly power arrayed against it, and no 
Divine power to meet this hostile power on its own ground. All 
the subsequent history is of such a spiritual kingdom, and what 
our Lord says implies that this was not an afterthought, but the 
permanent policy of God in ruling his kingdom. 


As for the miracles, Weiss admits them, and does not attempt 
any reasoned discrimination among them. But he does show his 
sense of the strength of the unbelief in the supernatural by insist- 
ing on leaving a way of escape to the naturalistic explanation of 
at least some of them, lest the unbelief in the miraculous involve 
the whole history in a common ruin. 

Beyschlag, in his Leben Jesu, is another example of the same 
school, which combines acceptance of the apostolic source and 
historical character of the Synoptical accounts with free critical 
handling of the details. He modifies the theory of Meyer and 
Weiss, and before them Weisse, in regard to the origin of the 
Synoptics, by relegating our Mk., as well as Mt. and Lk., to the 
rank of secondary documents, and making the sources of all three 
to be an original Mk., and the Logia of Mt. But this does not 
materially alter the general conclusion. His work does not show 
the abundant learning of Weiss, and it is not so carefully orthodox, 
but it is more sympathetic ; it has a finer historical sense and a 
sounder judgment. Its point of view is expressed in the author's 
repeated statement that the Jesus of our faith is identical with the 
Jesus of history, and is not a product of Aberglaube. Beyschlag's 
theory of miracles includes the most of those performed by our 
Lord, but omits those in which the law of cause and effect is 
manifestly broken, such as the miracle of the loaves and fishes. 
The cures of our Lord he traces to his marvellous personality, its 
power over other men's spiritual natures, and the well-known reac- 
tion of a powerfully moved mind on the bodily condition. But 
where the process and connection of events is plainly lacking, and 
there is only a word, — a command, — he rejects the miracle as a 
violation of natural law ; that is, to him, as to the ordinary unbe- 
liever in the supernatural, the miraculous, in the sense of the 
inexplicable, does not happen. The difference is that the ordi- 
nary anti-supernaturalist proceeds from this denial to a disbelief 
in religion generally, and especially in Jesus. Beyschlag, by 
explaining the miracles, putting them in the ordinary sequence 
of nature, defends the historicity of the Gospels even from the 
point of view of the anti-supernaturalist. The particular sequence 
in our Lord's miracles — the reaction of mind on body — is com- 
mon enough, only in Jesus' unique personality it is raised to the 
«th degree. 


Holtzmann, in his Commentary on the Synoptical Gospels, and 
in his Introduction, is the clearest and cleverest of the exponents 
of this now accepted theory of the Synoptical Gospels. It would 
be hard to find a more transparent or convincing piece of critical 
work than his discussion of the Synoptical problem in the Intro- 
duction to his commentary. He wavers somewhat in his consid- 
eration of the question whether our Mk. is the original Mk., but is 
decided in his statement that the two are for substance identical, 
and that for all practical purposes, it is our Mk. which may be 
taken as the basis of Mt. and Lk. These Gospels were formed by 
the combination of Mk. with the Logia. This Mk.-hypothesis he 
characterizes strongly, but justifiably, as no longer hypothesis, but 
established and accepted critical fact. Moreover, he regards both 
of these sources as historical, and all the Synoptical Gospels, there- 
fore, as having a historical basis. They are not historical in their 
purpose, since what we may call their apologetic aim is evident in 
all three. They are intended to represent Jesus as the Messiah, 
and to show that his death, so far from defeating his purpose and 
disproving his claim, was foreseen by him, and included in his 
purpose. But the events and teachings used in this showing are, 
substantially, facts. The miracles Holtzmann rejects, however ; 
and, while the obvious reason for this is his acceptance of the 
critical assumption that miracles do not happen, and are therefore 
to be set aside simply as miracles, nevertheless, his showing up of 
them as echoes of O.T. miracle-stories is very clever, although 
fallacious. That a writer of his unusual clearness and judgment 
should not see the contradiction between the general historicity 
of these books and the spuriousness of the miracles is wonderful. 
And that the absolute verisimilitude of the miracles should escape 
him is even stranger still. But that Holtzmann, with his evident 
skepticism, and his absolute and unqualified rejection of mere 
traditionalism, should accept the general historicity of the Synop- 
tics, is the most noticeable element in the whole situation. 

It would be unfair to close this review of the literature which 
combines criticism and faith without mentioning an admirable 
American contribution to it by Dr. Orello Cone. 1 He says that 
the total result of, criticism is, "that the divine doctrine of Jesus 

l Gospel Criticism, G. P. Putnam's Sons. 


stands forth clearly denned, and of his personality there emerge not 
only ' a few ineffaceable lineaments which could belong only to a 
figure unique in grace and majesty,' but the figure itself emerges 
in its majesty and grace." For a balanced statement of the pre- 
dominance of the Jewish outlook in Mt., and of the Pauline uni- 
versalism in Lk., which, however, does not prevent either writer 
from introducing material which shows the true middle ground of 
fact, we can commend this book. And this is only a sample of the 
careful and judicious spirit characterizing the whole. His estimate 
of the legendary and dogmatic element in the Gospels is exagger- 
ated, to say the least, but his acceptance of their historical kernel 
is hearty and important. 

Of a very different sort is the commentary of Dr. James Mori- 
son, to which the present writer has had frequent recourse, and 
gladly acknowledges indebtedness. There is an abundance of 
helpful information in it, especially in regard to the various Eng- 
lish translations. And his summarizing of different views is, in 
many passages, exhaustive, and his archaeological information 
extensive. But, while his exegetical sense is sometimes fine, it 
is far from that on the whole. In his criticism of the text, he is 
free, and his textual conclusions agree with those of the estab- 
lished critical texts in the main. But in the higher criticism, he 
seems to lack judgment and fairness. He is as well informed in 
this as in other departments. But when, after a long review of 
the literature in regard to the Synoptical problem, he concludes 
that all the theories are alike baseless, and that there is really no 
problem there ; that the resemblances are not uncommon, nor 
such as may not be accounted for mostly by the growing fixity of 
the oral tradition, his case becomes hopeless. And his conclusion, 
after a minute examination of the last twelve verses of ch. 16, that 
the omission is probably due to an accidental omission in some 
early copy, and that the " whole fabric of opposition and doubt 
must, as biblical criticism advances, crumble into dust," is 

In view of the universal discarding of this critical theory of the 
Synoptics by English commentators, it is well to call attention to 
the cumulative nature of the proof. The phenomena of verbal 
resemblance, on which the traditional view of independence goes 
to pieces, are not isolated, but prolonged and repeated. And the 


same is true of the verbal peculiarities of the last twelve verses, 
which many English textual critics reject, but which English com- 
mentaries defend with unanimity and spirit. 1 Dr. Morison thinks 
that he answers this objection by citing with each case a paral- 
lel instance from some other author. But the real question is 
whether he can match the accumulation of these in the same 
space elsewhere. 

1 I should note one exception, — a commentary by Dr. W. N. Clarke, published 
in Philadelphia by the American Baptist Pub. Soc, who shows here the admirable 
judgment characteristic of his general work. 


The text followed in this commentary is not either of the critical 
texts, the author preferring to choose in each case between the 
several texts on the strength of the evidence. His authority for 
the texts has been Scrivener's edition of the text of Stephens, with 
the various readings of Beza, Elzevir, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tre- 
gelles, Westcott and Hort, and the Revised Version, Cambridge, 
1887. The text of Treg. is based too entirely on the older authori- 
ties for independent use, while that of the Revisers is too conserva- 
tive to satisfy a critical judgment. Either the text of Tischendorf's 
edition, or of WH., would be satisfactory, but an independent text, 
based on both, but following neither without exception, seems still 
better. The authority for the sources is Tischendorf's magnum 
opus, the Editio Major of his eighth edition. 

An analysis of the various readings adopted shows something like 
650 variations from the Tex. Rec, and in these the several sources 
appear as follows : 

Whole Number, 657 1 

N 604 

T* 4 





108 6 

209 58 

258 4 

301 1 

B 626 

U 29 





115 8 

218 1 

259 1 

340 1 

A 99 

V 23 





116 2 

225 2 

262 3 

346 55 

c 325 

W 2 





118 30 

229 5 

271 3 

406 2 

D 270 

W b 6 





121 1 

237 2 

282 1 

433 2 

E 32 

X 37 





122 2 

238 8 

299 7 

435 3 

F 23 

r 43 





124 50 

239 1 

Lat. Vet. . 303 

G 30 

A 440 





127 7 

240 3 

Vulg. . 


H 24 

n 68 





131 17 

241 1 



K 52 

I 117 





150 1 

242 1 

Theb. . 


L 520 

2 I 





157 6 

244 4 

Pesh. . 


M 57 

6 2 





171 1 

245 2 

Hard. . 


N 30 

10 2 





201 2 

248 1 

" ™g- 


* 5 

" 5 





205 1 

251 9 

Jer. Syr. 


S 18 

13 85 





206 1 

253 3- 

* Numbers approximate only. 


It changes somewhat the proportions of the above statement, that in C, 
about three chapters are wanting, in L 32 verses, in F 86 verses, in G 19 verses, 
in H 19 verses, in N some 7 chapters, in P all but fragments, T d the same, in 
X the first 6 chapters, and in T nearly 3 chapters. The Theb. version is also 
in fragments only. 

From this analysis, it appears that substantially the critical text 
of to-day, as it appears in Tisch. and WE, is that of X and B, the 
two oldest mss. of the N.T., both of which belong to the fourth 
century. It is, moreover, strongly supported by C and D of the 
fifth and sixth centuries, by L of the eighth, and A of the ninth 
century. The only first-rate authority that can be excepted from 
this convergent testimony is A of the fifth century. The testi- 
mony of the versions is to the same effect, the older versions 
furnishing strong support to the readings of these oldest mss. 
The Old-Latin version, e.g., concurs with them twice as frequently 
as the Vulgate, and the Peshito, the oldest Syriac version, twice as 
frequently as the later versions in the same language. And one 
of the strong supports of these readings is the Memphitic, which 
is of about the same age as these oldest Latin and Syriac versions. 
As far as the material now in hand goes, then, it points strongly to 
the conclusion of the textual critics that the oldest texts extant 
are comparatively pure. If K and B stood by themselves, we 
might say that possibly they had been more open than usual to 
corrupting influences, and that a purer form of the text was to be 
found in some later text of a purer strain. But, as a matter of 
fact, as we get back towards the fourth century, we find the text 
converging towards the form of these oldest extant sources, which 
shows conclusively that they belong in the main current of the 
text, and not in some side-stream more or less impure. A, which 
stands nearest to K and B in point of time, furnishes us with a 
convenient comparison. Here is a text different from the combi- 
nation K B, and very much nearer the later texts. Does this 
represent the main stream, and K B the divergence, or the 
reverse? The fact that, as we go back, the text converges 
towards K B, and not towards A, proves conclusively that the 
older mss. are comparatively pure. We have, in the oldest ver- 
sions, and in the Fathers, some traces of the state of the text in 
the first two centuries, and these confirm the type of text found 
in « B. There is a distinct type of text in these and in their 
cognates which lacks the smoothness and orthodoxy of the later 

THE TEXT liii 

texts : e.g. the omission of Ken vrja-reia in 9 s9 is contrary to second- 
century and later orthodoxy ; and, to take a more important case, 
the omission of 16 9 " 20 , with its account of the resurrection and 
ascension, subtracts not from the creed, but from confirmations 
of the creed. The onward movement of the text is toward 
smoothness and conformity, the later text supplying here and 
there the apparent deficiencies of the earlier type. Now, as we 
get still further back, going from the fourth century to the third 
and second, we find the reverse movement toward a certain rough- 
ness and non-conformity still kept up, which shows still further, 
and more strongly, that the great textual critics have not been 
lacking in critical judgment in giving to X B and their cognates 
the preference naturally due to the oldest known type of text. 


Necessarily, the information in regard to the sources of the text 
possible in a volume like this is very slight. The student is 
referred to the Prolegomena of Teschendorf's Editio Major, 
edited by Dr. C. R. Gregory, and to Scrivener's Introduction 
to The Criticism of the N. T., London, 1894. 


H = Codex Sinaiticusy discovered by Tischendorf in the convent of St. Catha- 
rine, Mt. Sinai, 1859, and now at St. Petersburg. A manuscript of 
the fourth century. 

B = Codex Vaiicanus, in the Vatican Library at Rome, where it seems to 
have been brought very soon after the founding of the Library in 1448. 
Also of the fourth century, and slightly older than n. 

A = Codex Alexandrinus, in the British Museum from its foundation in 1753. 
Brought from Constantinople, in 1528, as a present from the patriarch 
Cyril Lucar to Charles I. Belongs to the fifth century. 

C = Codex Ephraemi, in the Royal Library of Paris. Brought from the East 
by the Medici family in the sixteenth century, and into France by 
Catharine de Medici. A valuable palimpsest of the fifth century. 

D = Codex Bezae, a Grseco-Latin manuscript of the Gospels and Acts, pre- 
sented to the University Library at Cambridge by the reformer Theo- 
dore Beza in 1581. Previously in the monastery of St. Irenaeus, Lyons. 
Belongs to the sixth century. A singularly corrupt text, but bearing 
important witness to the accepted critical text. The corruptions are 
largely interpolations, and the text on which these are inlaid contains 
abundant confirmation of the purer form of the text. 


L —Codex Regius, in the Royal Library at Paris. Belongs to the eighth 
century. Contains the four Gospels, with some omissions. Those in 
Mk. are io 16-30 15 2 " 20 . Though of this late date, it is so evidently a 
copy of an early manuscript that it acquires great value in the criticism 
of the text. 

A = Codex Sangallensis of the four Gospels, in the great monastery of St. Gall, 
Switzerland, where it probably originated. It is evidently, like L, a 
copy of an old manuscript, and of great critical value. 

Other uncials of less importance are : 

E = Codex Basi/iensis, of the eighth century. 

F = " Borelli, of the ninth century. 

G = " Wolfii A, of the tenth century. 

H = " " B, of the ninth century. 

K = " Cyprius, of the ninth century. 

M = " Campianus, of the ninth century. 

N = " Purpureus, of the sixth century. 

P = " Guelpherbytanus A, of the sixth century. 

S = " Vaticanus 354, of the tenth century. 

T d = fragment of Lectionary, containing in Mk. only I 1 - 3 I2 35 "*. 

U = Codex Nanianus I. 

V = " Mosquensis, of the eleventh century. 

X = " Monacensis, of the tenth century. 

P = " Tischendorfianus, of the ninth century. 

II = " PetropolitianuSy of the ninth century. 


1 = Codex Basi/iensis, of the tenth century. 
13 = " Regius 50, of the twelfth century. 
28 = " " 379, of the eleventh century. 

33= " " 14, of the eleventh century, called "The Queen of the 

69 = Codex Leicestrensis, of the fourteenth century. 
102 = " Bibliothecae Mediceae. 
209 An unnamed, valuable manuscript. 
346 = Codex Ambrosianus 23, of the twelfth century. 

_ . Versions 

Latin : 

Vetus, or Itala. This version itself belongs to the very beginning of the second 
century, though there are no copies earlier than the fourth century. 

Vulgate, the Latin version of Jerome, made in the latter part of the fourth 


The Egyptian versions are : 

i. Memphitic, or Bohairic, in the dialect of Lower Egypt, and belonging to 

the second century. 
2. Thebaic, or Sahidic, in the dialect of Upper Egypt; belonging also to the 

second century. Extant only in fragments. 

The Syriac versions are : 

i. Peshito, of the second century. 

2. Harclean, which contains itself a statement of its date = 508. Value 

largely due to Thomas of Harkel, from whom it derives its name, and 
who collated it with the aid of three Greek mss. These marginal 
additions give this value. 

3. Jerusalem Syriac, a lectionary of the sixth century. 


The Fathers are quoted in the manner usual in critical commentaries 
(Amb., Aug., Chrys., Jer., Orig., etc.). 

Egyptt Egyptian Versions. 

Memph Memphitic. 

Theb Thebaic. 

Aeth Ethiopic Version. 

Latt Latin Versions. 

Lat. Vet Vetus Latina. 

Vulg Vulgate. 

Syrr Syriac Versions. 

Pesh Peshito. 

Hard Harclean. 

Hier Jerusalem Lectionary. 

AV Authorised Version. 

RV Revised Version. 

RV. marg. Revised Version marg, 

Tisch Tischendorf. 

Treg Tregelles. 

WH Westcott and Hort. 

Beng Bengel. 

De W De Wette. 

Mey Meyer. 

Bib. Die Smith's Dictionary of the Bible 

(ist or 2d edition). 

Thay.-Grm. Lex . Thayer's Grimm. 

Win Winer's Grammar of N. T. Greek. 




I. 1-8. Beginning of the glad tidings concerning Jesus in 
the authoritative proclamation of John the Baptist. Prophe- 
cies of this preliminary work in the Old Testament \ the 
appearance of John, his proclamation of repentance, his bap- 
tism, and his announcement of tJu coming One mightier 
than he. 

(It is evident that the key to this paragraph is found in this 
announcement of the One mightier than John. Who and what 
the man was who made it, the general character of his mission to 
the nation, into the course of which it was introduced, and the 
way in which it fulfilled prophecy in regard to the preparation for 
the Messianic advent, we are told of course, but the theme itself 
is the announcement. That is the beginning of the good news 

■ about Jesus which is the title of the section. There are two 
renderings of our EV. which obscure this intention of the para- 
graph, viz., the translation gospel for cuayyeAtov, v. 1 , and preach 

\ for Krjpvaau), v. 4 - 7 . The technical meaning which both these words 
have acquired in our language renders them frequently unfit to 
translate the Greek words, but especially in this passage, the 
character of which is such as to make a close adherence to the 

(specific meaning of the original words quite necessary. The state- 
ment is, that with the proclamation, K-qpva-cruv, of the coming One 
by John began the glad tidings, evayyeXtov, concerning Jesus. 
Furthermore, it is stated that this beginning is in accordance with 
prophecy, which foretold the sending of a messenger, ayyeAos, to 
prepare the way of the Lord. The prophecy is further identified 
with the event by the description of the messenger in the second 
part of the prophecy as a voice crying in the wilderness, corre- 
sponding to the statement about John that he made his appearance 


in the wilderness. The general work of John is shown to consist 
in his baptism of the crowds (including mostly the people of 
Judaea) who came to him, his proclamation being that of a bap- 
tism of repentance for remission of sins. That is, he performed a 
rite of outward purification, and explained that it meant an inward 
purification looking to the forgiveness of sins. This message 
would be understood by the people to foreshadow the coming of 
the expected deliverer, since repentance was the acknowledged 
condition of national deliverance, and this public call to it would 
naturally therefore create expectation of his advent. As for John's 
appearance, his wilderness life and food and his rough dress 
recall Elijah, as they are evidently intended to do, the item about 
the leather girdle reproducing the language of the LXX in regard 
to Elijah's dress (2 K. i 8 ). It is obviously the picture of a man 
who has revolted from the evil world and prefers hardness to the 
unclean associations of its comforts. It is a significant commen- 
tary on the manners of the place and time that they should lead 
to such revolt not in Greece or Rome, but in Judaea. It is such 
a man as this, who in the midst of his own great work of impress- 
ing on the nation his sense of its sin, and issuing to it the old 
prophetic cry, Wash you, make you elea?i, interjects the beginning 
of the evangel, the first news that the Messiah is actually at hand. 
This announcement takes the form of a comparison between him- 
self and the personage announced by him. There comes one 
stronger than he, with whom he is not to be compared. So far, 
the announcement is in line with Jewish expectation, but there is 
an absence of the material, and an emphasis of the spiritual ele- 
ment in what follows, which does not spring from Jewish Messian- 
ism, and would not have led to John's later doubt. It is a 
comparison between his baptism and that of Jesus, making the 
latter to be the spiritual reality, of which John's was merely the 
ritual expression. It was to be a baptism in the Holy Spirit, 
the element of spiritual purification, while John's baptism was in 
the material element of water, which could only represent that 
purification in a figure. 

1. This verse is a title or heading of the paragraph in regard to 
the work of John the Baptist. 1 That work, but especially the 

1 Hence the absence of the article before 'Apx»?, Win. 19. I. a- 


announcement of the coming of the one mightier than he, is the 
beginning of the evayyiXLov, the good news about Jesus Christ. 

evayyeXiov. — This word, which in the later Greek means glad 
tidings, is in the N.T. restricted to the good news about Jesus, or 
of the kingdom which he came to establish, or of the salvation 
accomplished by him. It is under this last head, that it comes to 
have the technical sense of the scheme of truth relating to him 
and to his saving work, which has come to be so associated with 
the word gospel as to render that a misleading translation in a 
passage like this. This word is also associated with the written 
accounts of our Lord's life, the Gospels, which is also confusing 
here. 1 

'Irjaov XpLo-rov. — This gen. may be either subj. or obj., the 
good news brought by him, ot that Concerning him. Here it is 
evidently the latter, as John is the bearer of the evayyeXiov. 
Ir/o-ovs is the personal name of our Lord (Mt. i 21 ). It is a 
descriptive name, as the passage in Mt. indicates, meaning 
Saviour. It is used once in the N.T. as the Greek form of 
Joshua (Heb. 4 8 ). 2 Xptarov — the official title of Jesus, denoting 
him as the Messiah, the Anointed. The word itself is of frequent 
occurrence in the O.T., where it is applied to kings as anointed 
of God. But as a title of the coming King, the hope of the 
Jewish nation, it does not occur. It is first used of him in the 
Book of Enoch 48 10 52*, about the close of the second century 
B.C., 3 and afterwards frequently in the uncanonical literature. It 
appears from this literature, that the general national expectation 
of deliverance and greatness characteristic of the O.T. period had 
at this time taken the definite shape of an expected deliverer in 
the Davidic line. And the N.T. furnishes abundant evidence that 
this expectation was common at the coming of Jesus, and during 
his life. The title X/cho-tos became a personal name later, and the 
absence of the art. would indicate that this is the use here. 

vlov tov ©eo£ — Son of God. RV. puts this into the text, and 
omits it in the margin, which seems a good statement of the 
[critical evidence. This term, Son of God, like the title Messiah, 
lis applied to the Messianic King in the uncanonical Jewish litera- 
ture. But its use is purely theocratic and official, corresponding 

1 In Homer, it means a reward given to the bearer of good news ; in Attic 
Greek, a thank-offering for the same. The LXX form of the word seems to be 
eva.yye\ia, Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

2 'Irjaovs is the Greek form of the Heb. gjfftrv, giB?;;, or according to a still later 
form, njW\ The first two mean Whose help is Jehovah. The last means simply 
help, or deliverer, and it is probably this later form to which this use is to be 

8 On this book, see Schiirer, N. 7,g. Div. II., Vol. III. § 32, V. 2. On the Messi- 
anic hope of the people in the time immediately preceding the life of Jesus, see 
Schiirer II. II. § 29; and on the name Messiah, see II. II. 29, 3. The Heb. form is 
itbo, Chald. Kmvto. Messiah. 


to the O.T. use to denote any one whose office specially represents 
God among men, such as kings and judges (see J. io 36 ). Its use 
to denote the relation to God springing from the miraculous con- 
ception is confined to Lk. i 35 , and its application to Jesus' meta- 
physical relation to God is not found in the Synoptics. The term 
is applied by Jesus to himself in his discourse without any expla- 
nation, whereas it would require explanation if it was intended to 
convey any other meaning than the historical sense with which the 
people were familiar. It is applied to him in the theophany at 
the baptism, where the aor. ev&oKrjo-a, meaning / came io take 
pleasure in thee, limits the title and statement to his historical 
manifestation, his earthly life. It is used by Peter in his confes- 
sion, where its association with the title Christ, or Messiah, — thou 
art the Christ, the Son of the living God, — also indicates the 
theocratic sense. In the question of the High Priest at the trial 
of Jesus, whether he is the Christ, the Son of God, the same collo- 
cation involves the same conclusion. In fact, there is nowhere in 
the Synoptics any indication that the title is used so as to involve 
any departure from the current theocratic sense ; and indications, 
such as the above, are not wanting, that the title does retain its 
common meaning at the time. When we get outside of these 
historical books, we come upon the metaphysical sonship as pos- 
sibly the prevalent meaning of the term. Son of God means here, 
then, that the Messianic kingdom is a theocracy, in which God is 
the real ruler, and the Messianic king represents God. Only, with 
the new meaning that the life and teaching of Jesus had put into 
all these current phrases, it would signify to a Christian writer that 
' this representation was real, and not merely official, that in Christ 
the ideal of the theocratic king had been realized, a prince who 
really represented the mind and spirit of God, and established the 
Divine law among men after the Divine method. 

vlov rod Qeov T. R. AEFGHKM etc. and Versions generally, viov Qeov 
RV. Treg. WH, marg. N a BDL 102. Omit Tisch. WH. RV. marg. n * 28, 
255. Omission confirmed also by passages in Iren. Epiph. Orig. Victorin. 

2. Iv toi? Trpo<f>r]Tais. — There is no doubt that this is a correction 
of the original, to meet the difficulty of ascribing the double quo- 
tation from Malachi and Isaiah to Isaiah alone. The reading of 
all the critical texts is iv tu> 'Ho-oua to> wpocfiyTrj. 

iv t£ 'H<mfy t£ Trpo^ry Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BDL A 33 Latt. 
Memph. Pesh. Hier. Hard. marg. 

This quotation is intended to prove from prophecy that the 
good news about Christ had its appointed beginning in the procla- 
mation of a forerunner who was thus to prepare the way for him. 
The first part is from Mal^ 1 , the second from Is. 40 3 . In the 


original, the passage from Mai. reads, Behold, I send my messenger 
who shall prepare the way before me. Jehovah is the speaker, 
and he is not addressing some one else, whose way is to be pre- 
pared by God's messenger; but he declares that he is coming 
himself to his temple to purge it of the profanations of the priests, 
and that he sends his messenger to prepare the way for him. 
Moreover, the messenger is the prophet himself, my messenger 
being in the Heb. ^xbfc, Malachi, the traditional name of the 
prophet. The prophecy has thus a distinct historical sense. The 
evil of Malachi's time, as is evident from the entire prophecy, was 
this abuse of their office by the priests, and the prophet announces 
that God is coming to do away with this abuse, and the prophecy 
is to announce this coming, and make ready for it. Here, it is 
adapted to Messianic use by the change of my and me to thy and 
thee, and is applied to the mission of the forerunner to prepare the 

(way for the Messiah. This Messianic use of a passage having 
another primary sense is the rule, and not the exception, in Messi- 
anic prophecy. The principle underlying it is, that the Messianic 
kingdom founded by Jesus is the real culmination of Jewish his- 
\ tory, and that its prophecies of near events somehow all point 
| forward also to him. And especially, in this case, the underlying 
fact is that the Jewish nation is a theocracy, and that the crises in 
its history are due to a Divine appearance and intervention; a 
coming of God, moreover, for which way is made by his messen- 
gers the prophets. This common feature being snared by the 
culminating intervention, gives the Messianic turn to the original 

ifxirpoffdev <rov is omitted by Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. It is supported by 
few good authorities, and is an evident emendation. The quotation is a 
free translation from the Heb. The LXX reads T5oD e£a7ro<rW\\w rbv 
&yye\6i> /xov, nal £iu(3\tyeTat 656c irpb irpoawwov /xov. The form in which 
it is quoted by Mk. is also that of the other places in which it is cited in the 
N.T. (Mt. II 10 Lk. 7 27 ), pointing to some common Greek source, not the 
LXX, with which the evangelists had become familiar. See Toy, Quota- 
tions in N.T.y p. 31. 

3. cpcovrj fioiovTos h rrj cprjm* — The voice of one crying in the 
wilderness. This passage is quoted directly from the LXX of 
Is. 40 3 . 1 Here, as in the quotation from Mai., the coming to be 
prepared for is that of God to his people. The purpose of his 
coming is to deliver his people from their captivity in Babylon by 
the hand of Cyrus. 2 It is the note of deliverance which is com- 
mon to this with the Messianic advent and intervention, and the 
preparation for this by the prophetic message is shared by this 
with the passage from Mai. 

1 avrov is substituted for toO ©=ov thj.oiv after rpc/3ov$« 

2 See Is. 4125 43H 4426_ 45 4 4 6i. 2 47 i-i5 4 s20. 


4v rrj ip^/J-v in the Heb. belongs with iroipLdaaTe. See Is. 40 s , RV 
But it is evident that Mk. intends to join it with Po&vtos, as this makes the 
prophecy anticipate the appearance of John in the wilderness. 

Kvptov — the Lord, stands for Jehovah, or Yahweh, in the origi- 
nal, this being the LXX. rendering of that name of God. But it is 
probable that Mk. understands it to refer to Jesus, this being one 
of his familiar titles. In this way, the passage becomes more 
directly adapted to his purpose, making the advent, and the mis- 
sion of the forerunner both figure in prophecy. 

4. In this verse, the art. should be inserted before /?a7m'£a>i/, 
without any doubt. Whether kou should be dropped before 
Krjpvao-oiv, on the other hand, admits of much doubt. If it is 
dropped, the passage reads, John the Bapiizer came preaching. 
If it is retained, it reads, John came, who baptized and preached, 
RV. On the whole, the reading without koL is preferable. 

6 fiairTlfyv Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 33, Memph. /ecu K-qpiaauv 
Treg. (ko.1) Tisch. RV. N ADLP A, Verss. generally. Omit /ecu WH. Treg. 
marg. B. 33, 73, 102. 

In order to get at the right connection of this verse, we must 
read it as if the preceding quotations were omitted — Beginning 
of the good news of Jesus Christ . . . John came, etc. iyevero — 
there came, or appeared. The verb is used to denote the appear- 
ance of a person on the stage of history. The wilderness in which 
he made his appearance is the wilderness of Judaea, on the south- 
ern banks of the Jordan, just before it empties into the Dead Sea. 
K-rjpvaaoiv — proclaifning. The word means to exercise the office 
of a herald, to proclaim officially, and with authority. John is not 
represented as preaching, taking baptism for his text, but as mak- 
ing public proclamation, calling men to his baptism. 1 

paimo-fia jueravota? — a baptism of repentance. This rite of 
immersion in water signified the complete inward purification of 
the subject. It took up into a symbolical rite the figurative wash- 
ings of such passages as Is. i 16 4* Jer. 4 14 Ez. 36 s5 Zech. 13 1 Ps. 51 2 . 
Outwardly, it had its counterpart in the Levitical washings of the 
law (Ex. 2 9 4 Lev. 14 s - 9 1 5 s - 8 - 10 - 13 - 16 - 2h n - * 1 6 26 - a 1 7 15 etc.) . But its 
use by John was quite unique. 2 iieravoias — of repentance. The 
gen. denotes the significance of the rite, the inward act of which 
it is the outward sign and pledge. The word denotes primarily a 
change of mind, such as comes from an afterthought. A person 

1 This word is one of several, such as Karj.yyeX.Kia, evayyeKiGeo-Oai, having different 
shades of meaning, but all translated preach in the EV., whenever sacred matters 
are spoken of. 

2 The question of the outward form of this rite has been discussed so thoroughly 
that it is unnecessary to go over it again in this place. In this passage, the indica- 
tions corresponding to the common usage of the word itself are the river, the 
immersion into the river, the going up out of the water, but especially, the entire- 
ness and completeness of /xeravoia, which is expressed by the rite. 


does something from failure to consider certain things necessary to 
wise action, and when afterwards these neglected things come to 
him, there comes the corresponding change of attitude and pur- 
pose. It denotes in the N.T. a change, arising from such recon- 
sideration, from a life of sin to rectitude and holiness. Such a call 
to repentance was not unexpected by the Jews, who believed that 
it was the sin of the nation which delayed the coming of the Mes- 
sianic King. The call to repentance therefore, by one wearing the 
prophetic appearance and authority, would signify to the nation 
that the deliverer was at hand, and that they must prepare for his 
coming, ek a^cnv ofxaprithv — for remission of sins. This states 
the purpose of the baptism of repentance. It is the repentance 
evidently which is the real cause of the remission, repentance 
being the normal and constant Scriptural condition of forgive- 
ness. 1 Baptism is related to the repentance as the outward act 
in which this inward change finds formal expression. Baptism is 
an act of profession, and is related to repentance as the declara- 
tion of forgiveness is to forgiveness itself. It is contended some- 
times (so Meyer and Weiss) that this is an anticipation of the 
significance of Christian baptism, in which the forgiveness of sins 
was first realized. But surely, if this was a baptism of repentance, 
it would result in forgiveness, since repentance and forgiveness are 
necessarily connected. 

5. iravrts should be removed from its position after e/?a7m£ovTo, 
so as to follow 'lepoaokvfiLTcu, and the verse reads, . . . and all the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, and were baptized. . . . 

'lepoaoXv/nLrai. 7rderes /cat i^airrl^ovro Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDL A 
2 8, 33, 102, Latt. Memph. etc. 

7rao-a . . . 7ravTes — all. These words are to be taken rhetori- 
cally. We know that John's severity must have turned many away 
(Mt. 3 7 - 10 Lk. 3 7 - 14 ). And the leaders of the people did not 
believe in him (Mk. n 27-33 ). But the Aao's, the people, all recog- 
nized John as a prophet (Mk. n 32 ). This general outpouring was 
to be expected from the nature of John's proclamation, since a 
prophetic call to national repentance would be hailed as a call to 
national deliverance. ££o(xo\oyovfMevoi — confessing. 2 This con- 
fession of sins gave reality to the baptism, making it a baptism of 

6. Tp6xas KafxrjXov — camel's hair. Since it says camel's hair, 
and not skin or fur, we are to understand probably a coarse cloth 

1 On the relation of repentance to forgiveness, see Is. 1 16-18 £z. 33I 4 - 20 Hos. 14 
Amos 5IO-15 Jon. 3 4 -!0. I n fact, the whole burden of prophecy is, that the nation is 
afflicted because of its sins, but that it needs only to repent. 

2 In its compound form, this is a Biblical word. The later language, Win. says, 
loves compound verbs which bring out something implied in the principal verb, 
16. 4. B. b. The preposition here denotes that what is hidden comes out in confes- 

8 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [i. 6, 7 

made of the hair. There are examples moreover of the cloth, but 
not of the skin, being used in this way. £u>vr}v Sep/xaTLvrjv — a 
leather girdle. This is selected to describe Elijah's general 
appearance in 2 K. i 8 . And it is a distinguishing mark of 
coarse dress, the girdle gathering in the loose robe about the 
waist being generally a place for luxury and display in dress. 
There is some reason to suppose, too, that the description, hairy 
man, may refer to Elijah's dress, which would be another corre- 
spondence. So RV. marg. kox ZcrOoiv aKp[8a<s kcu /xeAt aypiov — 
and was eating locusts and wild honey} 

iaduv Tisch. Treg. WH. k BL* A 33. 

This food was wilderness food, and corresponds to the coarse 
dress. Together, they represent the spirit of the man, his con- 
tempt of ease and luxury, his revolt against a sinful generation, 
everything which caused him to dwell apart from men, and to 
contemn their manners. Locusts were an article of food espe- 
cially allowed by the Levitical Law, and they are still eaten, pre- 
pared in various ways, by Eastern peoples. By wild honey may 
be meant that made by wild bees, and deposited in hollow trees, 
and other places in the woods ; but as a matter of fact, the term 
/u-e'Xt aypiov seems to be applied generally to the sweet sap of 
certain trees. 2 

7. ii<r)pvo~<re — he was proclaiming. The translation preached 
is especially out of place here, since what follows is not the general 
subject of the Baptist's preaching, but only that particular an- 
nouncement of the coming of the Messiah which has led the 
writer to say that the proclamation by John in the wilderness was 
the beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ. He was mak- 
ing proclamation by virtue of his office as Kr)pv£, the herald of the 
Messianic King. The whole work of the Baptist in this Gospel is 
treated as this apxv ewyyeAww, a peculiarity which is obscured in 
our version. 

iK7)pv<r<Te continues the impfs. ?jv evdedv/ihos and eaSuv, denoting John's 

habit of life and speech in the wilderness. 

6 lcrx v P° T€ P°s I*™ 3 — fa th a t * s mightier than I (RV.). This 
description of the coming one is common to all the Synoptics, 
but in Mt. and Lk. it is introduced between the statement of 
John's baptism and that of Jesus' baptism in such a way as to 
show more distinctly than in Mk.'s account that in these different 
baptisms is contained the point of the lo-x v P° Te P°s- Jesus is might- 
ier than John by reason of his baptizing in the Holy Spirit. Mk.'s 
order shows this also, but not so distinctly. oVio-w p.ov — after 

1 e<r6(i) toy is in the same construction as ei/SeSv/neVos, was clothed . . . and was 
eating. ea9oov is a poetic form of the participle. 

2 See Meyer's Note. 

3 The art. indicates the definite person had in mind. 


me? ov ovk dfil t/cai/09 — of whom I am not fit. . . . This is a 
rhetorical statement of John's depreciation of himself by the side 
of the coming one. He was not fit to He his shoes. 

iK<xvbs denotes any kind of sufficiency or fitness. Fit is a good transla- 
tion in this case. 

Ifxavra r. v7roBr}fxaTU)v — the thong of the sandals. The sandals 
protected the soles only, and were bound to the feet by a thong. 
Kv\(/a<s. — This apparently superfluous addition about stooping serves 
to heighten the impression of the menial character of the act. 

8. iyio i(3d7TTL(ra v&xtl — / baptized you with water. 

Omit ixJkv after 4yi> Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL 33^69, 102, 124, Lat. 
Vet. mss. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. etc. Omit ev before u5on Tisch. Treg. 
marg. WH. n BH A 16, S3, 56, 58, 258, Vulg. etc. 

Without the prep, the element vSclti. becomes the instrument with which 
the act is performed. See Win. 31. 7. d. 

tv Uvevfiari 'Aytw — in Holy Spirit. We are not to look for 
Christian terms, nor Christian uses of terms, in John's teaching. 
The line that divides them in this matter of the Holy Spirit is 
fine, but distinguishable. In the Jewish conception, personality is 
ascribed to the Holy Spirit only figuratively. In the Christian 
use, on the other hand, the impersonal sense is the figurative one, 
e.g. where it speaks of a pouring out of the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3 s 
Acts 2 17 - l8 ). But the Spirit of God, or of Yahweh, or the Spirit of 
holiness, figures more or less largely in the O.T. as the animating 
power in the universe, as the inspiration of the prophet, the sol- 
dier, the king, and even the workman. And the possession of this 
Spirit by all men is prophesied as one of the marks of Israel's 
golden age. See Job 26 13 33 4 Ps. 104 30 Is. 42 1 61 1 Mi. f Jud. 3 10 
6 U Is. 11 2 Joel 2™ Is. 59 21 Ex. 31 3 . John's reference to the Holy 
Spirit, the uhp nm, would not therefore be strange to his Jewish 
hearers. The absence of the art. indicates that the Spirit is 
regarded here as an element, a pervading presence, like the air, 
in the ocean of which we are submerged. The epithet holy would 
not in itself suggest moral quality, as it denoted what is invested 
with awe or reverence, and only secondarily and rarely, moral 
purity. But in the connection, since the Spirit is regarded here 
as the purifying element, it is evidently holiness in the moral 
sense that is predicated of it. The contrast between the work of 
the Baptist, and that of the Messiah, amounts to this, that the 
mightier one who is to follow John will do the real work of which 
the Baptist is able to perform only the sign. Water cleanses only 
the body, and represents figuratively the inward cleansing of the 
man. But the Holy Spirit is the element in which man is cleansed 

1 On the use of the adverb as a preposition, see Thay.-Grm. Lex.; Win. 54. 6. 


inwardly and really, and it is this real baptism which the coming 
one was to perform. So far as it is given us in the Gospels, John's 
annunciation of the Messiah includes only the spiritual side of his 
anticipated work, and thus corresponds with the historical fact. 
But John's later doubt could have arisen probably only from the 
failure of Jesus to carry out the kingly part of the Jewish Messianic 
expectation. See Mt. n 2 " 19 . And it would be quite improbable 
that John would be so far separated from his time as to expect a 
purely spiritual Messiah. 

In this paragraph, the signs of Mk.'s use of the Logia are not wanting. 
In the first place, O.T. citations are not common in Mk., but are quite 
characteristic of the Logia. And especially, the first part of the double 
quotation is, in Mk. I 2 - 3 Lk. 7 27 , taken unquestionably from that source. 
The somewhat clumsy junction of the two passages is due apparently to 
bringing together what was separated in the original source. And Mt. 3 12 
Lk. 3 17 show signs of being connected with what precedes in the original 
source. Mk. omits this, but gives what precedes with the identity of 
language that shows a common source for all three. For the verbal 
resemblance, implying the interdependence of the Synoptics, cf. Mk. I 3 
Mt. 3 3 Lk. 3 4 , especially the change of rod Qeov ijfiQv, LXX, to avrov in 
them all (Mk. i 4 Lk. 3 3 Mk. I 5 - 6 Mt. 3 4 - 5 - 6 Mk. I 7 - 8 Mt. 3 11 Lk. 3 16 ). 


9-11. Jesus is baptized by John. The Holy Spirit descends 
upon hiniy and the voice from heaven attests his Divine 

Among the rest, Jesus comes to John's baptism. As he comes 
up out of the water, the Spirit descends on him in the form of 
a dove, preparing him for the work into which baptism has inau- 
gurated him and signifying the gentleness of his reign ; and a 
voice out of heaven proclaims him to be the Messianic Son of 
God who has won the special Divine favor. 

With this paragraph begins the story of Jesus' life, but as it 
treats of events preceding his public ministry, the story of the 
baptism and of the temptation conforms to Mk.'s plan outside of 
that ministry, and is given briefly. E.g. Mk. does not consider 
it necessary to explain the evident difficulty attending the baptism 
of Jesus, as Mt. does, but gives only the fact. The visible form 
taken by the Spirit in its descent upon Jesus is evidently intended 
to be, like the voice, a theophany, attesting his mission. But the 
Spirit itself is intended to prepare him for his work, and so 
descends upon him now at the beginning of that work; cf. v. u . 


9. Kal iyivero rjkOev l — iv eKCi'vats Tat? ^/Aepcus — in those days. 
This is a general designation of time, and denotes here the period 
of John's ministry. Na£apcr rrjs TaXiAatas — Nazareth of Galilee. 
The explanatory rrjs TaXtXalas is for the information of the unin- 
formed, and is a sign therefore, that this Gospel was written for 
Gentile readers. This is the only place in Mk. where Nazareth is 
mentioned, though Jesus is called a Nazarene in several places 
(i 24 io 47 i6 6 14 67 ). It was the home of Jesus during his private 

According to Lk. I 26 2 4 - 39 - 51 4 16 , this was owing to the previous residence 
of his parents in Nazareth. Mt, however, tells us that they took up their 
abode there after their return from Egypt, because they were turned aside 
from Bethlehem by the succession of Archelaus to his father's throne, 
which made Judaea no longer a safe place for them (2 23 ). 

Nazareth was in the interior about midway between the Lake 
of Galilee and the Mediterranean. It is at present a town of 
about 5000 inhabitants, going by the name of En Nazira. 2 

as rbv 'lop&dvqv — into the Jordan. The prep, here coincides 
with the proper meaning of the verb, indicating that the form of 
the rite was immersion into the stream. The prep. Ik in the next 
verse, — going up out of the water, — implies the same. 

10. Kal evOvs — And immediately? dva/?cuWv Ik — going up out 

Ik (instead of dirb) Tisch. Treg. WH.RV.x BDL 13, 28, 33, 69, 124. 

a-x^ofxivovs tovs ovpavovs — the heavens opening, not opened. 
The pres. part, denotes action in its progress, not completed 
action. 4 

ws -TrepiaTepav — as a dove. Lk. 3 22 says that this resemblance 
was in bodily shape. And the language itself implies that. The 
dove was the emblem of guilelessness (Mt. io 16 ). It was not a 
bird of prey. The appearance accords with the gentleness of 
Christ's reign. The descent of the Spirit was moreover a real 
event, while the appearance was only a vision. It was not merely 
a sign that here was a person endued with the Spirit, but a special 
influence beginning at the time, and preparing him for his new 
work. It was like the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost, prepar- 
ing the disciples for their new work. Neither event implied in any 
way that the Spirit was not present in their lives before. 5 And 

1 This circumlocution for the simple verb is a translation of the Heb. "i 'HM, and 
is foreign to the Greek idiom. The absence of a conj. between the two verbs is 
also a solecism. 

2 See Bib. Die. On the form of the Greek name, see Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

3 This adverb is one of the marks of the style of this Gospel. It is used by Mk. 
nearly twice as often as by Mt. and Lk. together, euflus is substituted for evfleois in 
the critical texts in most of these passages in Mk. See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

4 See Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses, 125. 

5 On this office of the Spirit, cf. Is. n 2 . 

1 2 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [I. 10-12 

we find in all the Synoptics mention that Jesus began his ministry 
under the impulsions of the Spirit. See Mt. 1 2 28 Mk. i 12 Lk. 4*- "* 18 . 
This descent of the Spirit is moreover indicative of the meaning 
of our Lord's baptism. It has already been indicated that the 
real baptism, of which that in the water is only the sign, is a bap- 
tism in the Holy Spirit, and it is this which is signified by the 
baptism of Jesus, but without the accompanying repentance which 
belongs to the baptism of the rest of the people. 

11. Kat cfxovr) (eyeVcTo) — And a voice {came). 

Omit iytvero Tisch. (WH.) n D ff. 2 . 

2v e? 6 vtos fiov 6 dycnr^ros — Thou art my beloved Son. This 
is one of the passages in the Synoptics which indicate that the 
Synoptical use of vios (rov ©eoO) applied to Jesus, conforms to 
current Jewish usage, omitting the metaphysical Sonship, and 
including only the theocratic, or figurative meaning of the word. 
The aor. evBoK-qaa, I came to take pleasure, denotes the historical 
process by which God came to take pleasure in Jesus during his 
earthly life, not the eternal delight of the Father in the Son. The 
title here would denote one, therefore, who has been received 
into special love and favor by God, as Paul calls Timothy his son 
(i Tim. i 2 ). It accords with Lk.'s statement, that Jesus grew in 
favor with God and man (Lk. 2 52 ). 1 kv <rol evSoKrja-a — in thee I 
came to take pleasure. 

kv aoi (instead of kv y) Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDLP I, 13, 22, 33, 
69, Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 


12, 13. Jesus retires into the wilderness, where he remains 
forty days, tempted by Satan, and attended by angels. 

Immediately after the baptism, Jesus is impelled by the Spirit 
who has taken possession of him into the wilderness. He remains 
there forty days, surrounded by the wild beasts, attended by 
angels, and tempted by Satan. 

It is especially the story of the temptation, in the period pre- 
ceding the public ministry, which is abbreviated by Mk. He 
gives us simply the fact of the temptation, the place, the wild- 
erness, the time, forty days, and the descriptive touch, that he 
was with the wild beasts. 

12. Kal evOvs — And imtnediately, viz., after the baptism. This 
event, with its accompaniments, is of the nature of an inaugural 

1 On this use of the aor., see Win. 40, 2; Burton, N.T. Moods and Tenses, 55. 

I. 12, 13] THE TEMPTATION 1 3 

act. And it is followed immediately by his retirement into the 
wilderness. The time, the circumstances, and the nature of the 
temptations, all point to the probability that this retirement was 
for the purpose of meditation upon the work into which he had 
been inaugurated. Moreover, the Ilvevixa, the Spirit, connects this 
with the account of the baptism. He begins now immediately to 
act under the impulsions of the Spirit which he has just received. 
€/c/?aAAei — thrusts hiffi out. Mt. and Lk. both use the milder 
ayav, to lead, to describe this, rrjv iprj/xov — the wilderness. This 
is the same general region in which the baptism took place. But, 
inasmuch as it was from the wilderness into the wilderness, and 
Mk. adds that he was with the wild beasts, it must mean that he 
penetrated still further into its solitudes. 

13. Kat rjv iv rrj ipy'jfjuo TccraepaKovra rjfxepas — And he was in 
the wilderness forty days. This period is given by both Mk. and 
Lk. as that of the temptation, though Mt. and Lk. both give us 
the three special temptations following the forty days. Mt. makes 
these the only temptations. 7reipa£o'/xevos — tempted. Used here 
of an actual solicitation to evil. 

The proper meaning of treipafriv is to try, in the sense both of attempt 
and test. It is through the latter meaning that it comes to be applied to 
the test of character, whether by trial, or by solicitation to evil. 

Sarava — Satan} The name is Hebrew, but the personage 
does not figure much in O.T. narrative or discourse (1 Chr. 21 1 
Zech. 3 12 Job i 6 " 9 2 ls ^). In the N.T., he is represented, in 
accordance with current Jewish ideas, as the ruler of a kingdom 
of evil, having subjects and emissaries in the shape of demons, 
corresponding to the angels who act as God's messengers. His 
special function is to tempt men to evil, /xera tu>v Orjpioiv — with 
the wild beasts. The desert of Judsea is in parts wild and un- 
tamed, and abounds in beasts of the same description, such as 
the leopard, the bear, the wild boar, and the jackal. This descrip- 
tive touch, in which, just as with a word, the wildness and solitari- 
ness of the scene are brought before us, and equally, the omission 
of details of the temptation, are characteristics of Mk. The omis- 
sion accords with the plan of his Gospel, but, also, with a certain 
objective quality belonging to it. See Introduction. Sirjuovow — 
were ministering. 2 This ministry, like the temptations, is rep- 
resented in Mt. as taking place after the forty days. In our 
account, it is evidently an offset to the presence of the wild beasts. 
The visible things figuring in the scene were these beasts, but 
there were invisible presences as well, and these were minister- 
ing to him. Mk. does not tell us what the ministrations were. 
(Nor Mt.) 

1 A Heb. word, meaning the Adversary. 

2 The impf. describes the act as taking place during his stay in the wilderness. 



[I. 14-20 

The historicity of the account of the temptation is attacked with some 
plausibility. There are certain things about it on which a just historical 
criticism throws some doubt. There is a concreteness about the appear- 
ance of Satan, and of the angels, an air of visibility even, an impression of 
actual transportation through the air, and the introduction of a typical 
number (forty), 1 which can, however, easily be eliminated without touch- 
ing the essential history. The account which has been preserved is evi- 
dently the pictorial and concrete story of what really took place within the 
soul of Jesus. But the temptations themselves, just because they represent 
the actual temptations of his later life, are a portrait, and not an imagina- 
tive picture. Holtzmann, in his Note on the passage, gives an admirable 
statement of the way in which the story corresponds to the real temptations 
of Jesus' life. But his argument that some one made up this story from 
those falls to the ground. It implies that some one understood that life 
better than any contemporary did understand it. 


14-20. After John s imprisonment, Jesus goes to Galilee, 
where he begins his ministry with the proclamation of the 
kingdom of God. 

After the imprisonment of John, Jesus departs into Galilee, 
where he begins his ministry with the proclamation of the good 
news of the kingdom of God, announcing the completion of the 
time for it. He finds Peter, Andrew, James, and John fishing in 
the lake of Galilee, and calls them to follow him and become 
fishers of men. 

The order of events in the Synoptics is as follows : 


Delivering up of John 
(mere mention). 

Departure into Galilee. 

Change of residence 
from Nazareth to Ca- 

Beginning of Jesus' 

Call of first disciples. 

Delivering up of John 

(mere mention). 
Departure into Galilee. 

Beginning of Jesus' 

Call of first disciples. 

Delivering up of John 
(account), 3 1920 . 

Departure into Galilee. 

Beginning of teaching. 

Rejection at Nazareth. 

Coming to Capernaum. 

First miracles. 

General teaching in syn- 
agogues in Galilee. 

Call of first disciples. 

The general order of events is the same. The evident intention 
of all is to connect the beginning of Jesus' ministry with the close 

1 Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights (Ex. 24!®, 34 28 ), Elijah was 
in the wilderness forty days and forty nights (1 K. 19 8 ), and the Christophanies after 
the resurrection covered a period of forty days (Acts i 3 ) . 


of John's work, though this is more evident in Mt. and Mk. than 
in Lk. They also mark at the beginning that it is a Galilean 
ministry. Mt. and Mk. tell us that it was the good news of the 
kingdom of God which was proclaimed by Jesus. Lk. also brings 
this in incidentally. He also introduces the rejection at Nazareth, 
evidently to account for the removal to Capernaum, and inserts 
the first miracles and a tour of preaching in Galilee before the call 
of the first disciples. 

14. Mera Se to Trapa8o9rjvat tov 'IwdVvvyv — And after the deliv- 
ering up of John. Mt. and Mk. assume this as a well known fact. 
Lk. tells the story of it (3 18 - 20 ) . The others tell it later (Mk. 6 17 " 29 ) . 
cts ty)v TaXcXaLav — into Galilee. The connection of events is lost 
here in the brevity of the narrative. We are not told whether 
Jesus came into Galilee because of the imprisonment of John, 
and being there, began his ministry ; or whether he began his 
ministry because John's ministry was ended, and chose Galilee as 
the scene for it. But, inasmuch as Jesus is represented by the 
Synoptics as continuing his work in Galilee until the end, it is 
evidently the latter. It is the demands of his work that take him 
to Galilee, and John's imprisonment is the occasion of his begin- 
ning his work, and only indirectly of his coming to Galilee. More- 
over, they do not tell us why Galilee became the scene of his 
ministry. But the reason is evident. It was not the headquar- 
ters of Judaism ; and events showed that Jesus' work would have 
been impossible in the stronghold of that unsympathetic faith. 
The fourth gospel tells of a preliminary work of eight months in 
Judaea, but the Synoptics are not only silent about it, but exclude 
it by their evident intention to represent this as the beginning of 
Jesus' work. 

Galilee, Heb. hh\ circle, was originally the name of only a small circuit 
in one of the tribes inhabiting the northern section of Palestine. But in 
the time of our Lord, it had come to be applied to the Roman province 
including the whole territory of the four northern tribes. It was inhabited 
by a mixed population of Jews and Gentiles. See Jos. 20 7 21 32 1 K. 9 11 
2K. 15 29 . 

^ro eiayytXiov tov ®eov — glad tidings of God. 

Omit ttjs /ScctXefas before tov Beov Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BL. I, 28, 33, 
69, 209, mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. 

The glad tidings of God is here the glad tidings from God, who 
is the author and sender of the message (subj. gen.). The good 
>news itself, as the next verse shows, is that of the kingdom. 

15. The words, /cat Xiyoiv, and saying, at the beginning of this 
verse, are to be omitted. 


Omit Kal \4ywv Tisch. WH. (nal \4y<av) x one pis. of Lat. Vet., Orig. 
The insertion of Kal \eycav is caused probably by the interpolation of ttJs 
/ScwiXefas in the preceding verse. The two go together. 

i -~TT£Tr\ripoiTai 6 Katpos — the time has been filled up, or completed. 
Fulfilled, EV. is etymologically correct, but misleading, on account 
of its technical use to denote the accomplishment of expectation, 
promise, or prophecy. What is denoted here is the filling up of 
the time appointed for the coming of the Kingdom. This idea 
of an appointment of times, as well as of events, is thoroughly 
Jewish, referring all things to God. But to Jesus, who read the 
signs of the times (Mt. i6 3 ), the language signified not only a 
theology, but a philosophy of events. The time revealed itself to 
him as ripe for the event. 

yfyyLKev rj /foo-iAaa rov ®eov — The kingdom of God has come 
near. This message assumes evidently the existence of the idea 
of a kingdom of God among the Jews as a familiar thought. The 
announcement is, that this expected kingdom is at hand. Jesus 
does not announce a new fact, nor does he enter here upon any 
exposition of the nature of the kingdom, such as belonged to his 
later teaching, but simply announces the expected kingdom. He 
does not enter into the question of the difference between his 
spiritual kingdom, and the earthly kingdom of Jewish expectation. 
It is enough for his present purpose to announce it as a kingdom 
of God, and so to prepare the way for his call to repentance. 

This announcement has to be located first, in the life and teaching of 
Jesus; secondly, in its relation to John's message; and thirdly, in current 
Jewish thought. In Jesus' own thought it is central; the kingdom of God 
is the subject of his teaching, and his object is to revolutionize the current 
idea; but that necessary change comes later. And moreover, in its con- 
nection with his later activity, it constitutes the announcement that the 
object of that was the establishment of the kingdom of God, and not 
merely the instruction of the people as to its nature. He was in his earthly 
work prophet, but also king. In its relation to John's message, this 
announcement of Jesus was the continuation and development of that, 
repeating his call to repentance, but substituting for his announcement of 
the coming One, that of the coming Kingdom. This is in accordance with 
Jesus' impersonal manner of treating his work. In its relation to current 
Jewish thought, this announcement fulfilled national expectations. This is 
evident from the reception given to Jesus by the nation, and from the 
uncanonical Jewish literature. This literature shows that the idea of 
Jewish deliverance and greatness, started in the prophetic books of the 
O.T., had not been allowed to lapse, but had gradually taken shape in the 
idea of a universal kingdom ruled by God himself, with the Messiah as his 
earthly vice-gerent, having Palestine as its centre and Jerusalem as its 
capital, and including in itself the righteous dead, who had been raised to 


share its glories. And the attitude of the people during the life of Jesus 
shows that this had become at this time a subject of fervid popular hope 
and expectation. 

{fteravo&Tt — repent. This is a continuation of John's message. 
Kai {7rl<TT€veTe iv r<o evayycAta) — and believe in the good news, is, 
howevrr, a distinct addition to that message. The evayyeXiov, 
good news, is that the expected kingdom is at hand. Our word 
gospel, with its acquired meaning, is again singularly out of place 
here, as it inevitably obscures this obvious reference to the evayyc- 
Xiov tov ®eov just mentioned, wio-revcre, believe, is another word 
that has to be evacuated of its theological sense. It is purely and 
simply belief of the message brought by Jesus, that the kingdom 
of God is at hand. If a crisis is coming, and men are to be pre- 
pared for it, the first requisite is, that they believe in its coming. 1 
16. Kai 7rapaya)v irapa — And going along by. 2 

Kai wapayuv, instead of TrepnraT&v 5£, is the reading of Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BDL 13, 23* 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. Hard. marg. etc. 

ttjv OaXaaaav ttjs TaXiAata? — sea of Galilee. This lake was 
the scene of Jesus' ministry. On its NW. shore were the towns 
of Capernaum, Magdala, Chorazin, and Bethsaida, referred to by 
Jesus himself as the district in which his mighty works were done. 
And its eastern shore, being uninhabited, was the place to which 
he used to retire to escape the multitudes. It was a lake 12 
miles long, and 6 miles wide at the place of greatest width. The 
Jordan river enters it about 20 miles from its source. The use of 
OdXaaa-a in its name is uncommon in Greek. 

In Lk., it is called commonly ij Xi/xptj the lake ; once, Lk. 5 1 , the lake 
of Gennesareth, from the district on its W. shore. J. 21 1 , calls it the sea of 
Tiberias, from the principal city on its shore. The Heb. name is nnp o^ 
or nnjp sea of Chinnereth, or Chinneroth. See Nu. 34 11 Jos. 13 27 \2 Z . 

^tLfKava Kai 'AvS/oeav rbv a8e\<j>bv tov %lpaovo<i, d/x<£i/?aAAovTas 
iv rfj OaXdaarj — Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting 
a net in the sea. 

(tov) Zt'/iwTOj instead of avrov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BAE 2 LM I, 
69, 102, Lat. Vet. (a) Memph. A number of other texts read avrov tov 
SZ/Ltajvoy. d/x0t/3d\Xo^ras without dfKpi^Xrjo-Tpov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n 

The repetition of the noun St/twos in a case like this is charac- 
teristic of Mk. afJL<pifiXr)crTQov is a thing thrown round another, 

1 The regular construction after Trio-reu'etv is the simple dat. In the N.T. we find 
this, but also eis with ace. and inl with ace. or dat. This construction with kv is 
found only here, and in John 3 15 . 

2 The common construction after napayuv is the simple dat. This repetition of 
irapa is not found elsewhere. 


1 8 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [I. 17-19 

as a net about fish, clothes about a person. Hence afx<fa(3dXXovra<;, 
used absolutely here, and suggesting the aixfyifiX-qcrrpov, the net, as 
it certainly does, means to throw the net about the fish. 1 

17. Sevre oVto-a> fxov — Come after me? Following is in the 
N.T. a figurative expression for discipleship, especially for that 
which involved personal attendance upon Jesus. This use of 
follow belongs to a general use by which it is applied to any per- 
sonal attendance, as of a soldier. aAiet? avOpui-n-w — fishers of 
men; cf. Jer. i6 16 . This is the first instance of the use of para- 
bolic language, so common in the discourse of Jesus. The para- 
ble is not necessarily drawn out into a story, or a stated comparison ; 
it may be expressed in a word as here. In it, Jesus simply brings 
together things of the outer and inner world, expressing the 
unfamiliar in the terms of the common and familiar. The effec 
tiveness of it depends on the general likeness of the two worlds. 

18. Kat evQvs afpevres ra SUrva — And immediately having left 
their nets. 

evdtis, instead of evdtcos, Tisch. WH. n L 33. Omit avruv after id SIktvo, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL, some mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

This immediate following is due probably to a previous ac- 
quaintance with Jesus and his teaching. They had been attracted 
to him before, and so were prepared to heed this apparently abrupt 
call to become his personal followers. John i 35 " 43 tells us that they 
became disciples a year before this, during the ministry of John 
the Baptist. 

19. Kat 7rpoj3a<s oXtyov — And having gone forward a little. 

Omit ixeWev thence, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BDL I, 28, 118, 124, 131, 
209, Lat. Vet. (some mss.) Memph. Pesh. etc. 

'laKOiftov — James — the O.T. Jacob. He is named commonly 
before John, implying that he was the older brother. Ze/?eSatoi> — 
Zebedee. Known only as the father of his two sons, and men- 
tioned only in connection with the present event (Mt. 4 21 ). The 
mother was Salome. 3 Kat aurous — who also, EV., gives the sense 
of these words. They express the identity of the occupation of 
these two with that of Peter and Andrew. They were also in 
their fishermen's boat, though they were mending their nets, in- 
stead of casting them. KaraprC^ovra^ — mending* 

1 Thay.-Grm. Lex. explains the word as meaning to throw about, first in one 
place, and then in another. 

2 Aevre is a plural imperative, formed from the adv. SeOpo. The use of the adv. 
as a prep., oni-ano ixov, is a sign of the Hellenistic Greek of the N.T. (Win. 54, 6). 

3 Cf. Mt. 2756 with Mk. 15 40 . 

4 KaTapT^'tti' means in general to put in complete order, and may be applied 
either to the original fitting out, or to repairs. 

1. 20-28] THE FIRST MIRACLE 1 9 

20. Kat evOvs (icaAco-ev avrovs — And immediately he called them. 
The immediateness here attaches to the call itself, in the former 
case to the response. He called them immediately, i.e., without 
any preliminary or preparatory act on his part. 

evdbs is here again substituted for evdtus. In brief it is so substituted in 
most of the cases where it is used in Mk. It is unnecessary to cite the 
authorities in each case. 

SnrrjXOov 6m<no /xov — they went away after him. This is a very 
good illustration of the way in which this act of following acquires 
its figurative meaning, and in which also the original and figurative 
meanings may be combined. Here the outward act was going 
away after Jesus, but the meaning of it was following in the sense 
of discipleship. 

The accounts of this call in the Synoptics furnish a good example of the 
varying relations of these gospels. Between Mt. 4I8-22 an( j Mk., there is 
the close verbal resemblance which can be explained only by their interde- 
pendence. Lk., on the other hand, presents a different version, evidently 
from an independent source, and it differs from the others just as we should 
expect independent accounts of the same event to differ. The points of 
difference in Lk.'s account are: (a) he found the boats empty; {b) the 
fishermen belonging to both were washing their nets; (c) the different 
occasion of the promise about catching men, which is in this case addressed 
to Peter alone; (d) the introduction of the discourse to the multitude 
from the boat, and of the miraculous draught of fishes, which can be 
brought into the account of Mt. and Mk., but not in the connection given 
by Lk.; (<?) he makes the whole a single event in which all four men 
participated, while Mt. and Mk. give two calls addressed successively and 
independently to the men in each boat. 


21-28. Healing of a demoniac in the synagogue at 

Jesus comes to Capernaum, and teaches in the Synagogue in 
such a way as to impress the people with the authority of his 
utterance, and with the marked difference in this respect between 
himself and the Scribes. The impression is deepened by his 
authority over demons displayed in healing a demoniac in the 
synagogue, and his fame travels over the surrounding country. 

This is the first miracle recorded in Mk. and Lk. And it is 
significant that the miracle selected, the casting out of demons, 


is the representative miracle in Mk. 1 The scene is in the Syna- 
gogue at Capernaum. This is another beginning, the synagogue 
being the chosen place for Jesus' teaching in the early part of his 
ministry. The journey through Galilee, which immediately fol- 
lowed this event, is described as a preaching tour in the syna- 
gogues. The synagogue is again the scene in 3 1 , and in 6 2 . After 
that it drops out, and probably this means that the freedom of the 
synagogue was allowed him only at first. The effect of the mira- 
cle on the people, and Jesus' refusal to follow up this effect, his 
evident desire to avoid the notoriety accompanying it, are begin- 
nings of a more important character. They show us at the very 
outset the kind of success which he had, and the estimate which 
he placed upon it. And we also get the impression which Jesus' 
teaching made upon the people from the very start, in which it is 
expressly contrasted with that of the Scribes. He was without 
outward authority, while they were the acknowledged teachers of 
the nation ; and yet the impression which his teaching made and 
theirs failed to make, was that of authority. Holtzmann remarks 
that the sketchiness peculiar to Mk.'s opening verses ends here, 
and gives place in this account to greater amplitude of narration. 

21. Kat elcnropcvovTaL cis Ka<£apvaov/x — And they enter into 

Kacpappaotfj. Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BD 33, 69, Latt. Memph. WH. 
App. p. 160, say that Kaireppaovp. is a distinctly Syrian corruption of the 
name. Kacpapvaovfi is substituted by Tisch. Treg. WH. in every place in 
which the name occurs. 

Mk. does not tell us that Capernaum became the residence of 
Jesus at this time. He does not even tell of his leaving Nazareth, 
though he has implied, v. 9, that that was his home at the time of 
the baptism. See Mt. 4 13 Lk. 4 16 " 31 . Mt. and Lk. have very much 
more the appearance of ordered narration, locating what is intro- 
duced into the narrative. Capernaum is on the NW. shore of the 
Lake of Galilee, though there is a dispute as to its more exact 
location. It does not appear in the O.T. 

The general opinion identifies Capernaum with Tell Hum, about three 
miles S. of the place where the river enters the lake. Some three miles 
further S., is Khan Minyeh, the site defended by Dr. Robinson. The only 
considerable ruins are at Tell Hum. 

1 See v.39 & ; cf. Mt. ioi Lk. 91. 

I. 21, 22] THE FIRST MIRACLE 21 

Kai evOvs rots a-dj3(3a<riv l — ^4//</ immediately on the Sabbath. 
Immediately on his coming into Capernaum, on the first Sabbath, 
he began his teaching in the synagogue. cSioWkci/ &% rrjv o-wayw- 
yrjv 2 — he was teaching in the synagogue. 

Omit d<re\dkv, having entered, before ets ttjv <Tvva.yu>yf)v Tisch. (Treg.) 
WH. marg. n CL 28, 69, 346, Memph. (2 edd.) Pesh. etc. The external 
evidence is not conclusive, but el<re\0u>v seems to be an emendation of a 
form of expression characteristic of Mk.; cf. v. 39 (Tisch. Treg. WH. RV.). 
The construction 4dl8a<TKev ets is very nearly equivalent to the dat. of indir. 
obj., and denotes the direction of the act. See Thay.-Grm. Lex., ets, I, A, 

The provision of the synagogue service, which made it available 
for Jesus' purpose, and caused him to choose that as one of his 
means of obtaining access to the people, was the freedom of its 
service. The performance of public worship or instruction was 
not committed to any officials, but to any one selected for the 
purpose by the dpx lo " W( *y<oyos, the ruler of the synagogue. For an 
example of the way in which Jesus connected this teaching with 
the Scripture reading, see Lk. 4 16 - 30 . 

The synagogue was the formal assembly in Jewish towns, or in the 
Jewish quarters of the Gentile cities, for instruction in the law. No 
provision for such an institution was made in the law itself, and it dates 
probably from the exile. The service consisted of prayer, reading of Scrip- 
ture, and exposition by any rabbi, or other person present and competent 
to teach. There was a body of elders, generally the civic authorities in 
Jewish towns, who had charge of the general affairs of the synagogue. 
The special officers were an dpx^vvdyuyos, or synagogue ruler, who had 
charge of the synagogue worship, appointing readers and exhorters; the 
alms-receivers; and the tfTr^peVai, whose chief function was to bring forth 
the Scriptures for public worship, and to return them to their place, but 
who, in general, were the subordinate functionaries, the beadles of the 

22. Kai igerrXrjo-o-ovTo — And they were astonished. A strong 
descriptive word for amazement, meaning strictly to strike a person 
out of his senses by some strong feeling, such as fear, wonder, or 
even joy. fo&axo — teaching (RV.) not doctrine (AV.). The 
reason given for their astonishment concerned the manner of his 
teaching, not its substance. eSlSaa-Kcv — he was teaching, not he 
taught (EV.). ws i£ovo-iav €x o)V — as having authority (RV.). 

1 Heb. natf, a rest-day. This dat. plur. of the third declension is frequent in 
the N.T., not in the Sept. The plural is used frequently in the N.T. for a single 
Sabbath, a use either corresponding to the plur. 01 festivals, t<x ey/caiVia etc., or 
coming from the emphatic Chald. form K"i3te\ 

2 This use of o-wayuyri to denote an assembly, or the place of assemblage, 
belongs to the N.T. In the Gr., it denotes the act of assembling. 

22 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [I. 22, 23 

What this authority was, the contrast with the Scribes indicates. 
They had, and constantly cited, external authority for their teach- 
ing. They said, Rabbi — says this. His authority then, which 
they did not have, was internal, proceeding from vision. The diffi- 
culty with the Scribes, and with men of their class, is that they 
carry external authority into the realm of intuitive truth. 

ol ypafjifxarcls -*- the Scribes} These were the men with whom 
Jesus had his chief controversy. They were the authors of the 
tradition, which he claimed made void the word of God. f' 13 . 
The Pharisees were the party of adherents to this traditional law, 
whom they gathered about themselves. Their function was that 
of interpreters and expounders of the law, and especially the decis- 
ion of difficult cases under its different commands. They sought 
in this way to apply such a general law as the Sabbath, e.g. to all 
possible cases that could arise under it, in such a way as to safe- 
guard it against possible violation. They were ignorant of the 
modern historical interpretation, and of Jesus' spiritual exposition, 
and they systematized the allegorical method. To this body of 
casuistry and essentially false interpretation they gave an authority 
equal to that of Scripture, and even superior to it. The conse- 
quence was that they built up a system, in which the spiritual ele- 
ment of the O.T. was minimized, and the external, formal, 
positive element was emphasized. See Schiirer on Scribism, II. 
i, 25. 

23. Kat evOvs — And immediately. 

Insert ev6i>s between Kai and Ijv Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. N BL I, 33, 
131, 209, Memph. etc. 

tiQls — immediately, here and in v. 21 , shows the rapid sequence 
of events after he entered Capernaum. He was no sooner in the 
city than he entered the synagogue, and no sooner in the syna- 
gogue than this demoniac appeared. 

iv trvevfiaTL aKadapna — in an unclean spirit. The prep, is used 
to denote possession by the evil spirit, in the same way as iv Xp«rra>, 
in Christ, iv TlvtvfMiTL 'Ayta>, in the Holy Spirit, denote the intimate 
connection between the Christian and Christ, or the Holy Spirit. 
The two beings are conceived as somehow ensphering each other, 
and sometimes one, sometimes the other, is said to enclose the 
being identified with it. The demon, e.g., is said to be in the 
man, or the man in the demon. In this case, the man is said to 
be in the unclean spirit, and v. 27, the unclean spirit is said to 

1 In the Gr., ypanixarevs denotes a clerk or recorder, and is applied to an official 
class whose general function corresponds to that of the clerks of judicial and repre- 
sentative bodies. Among the Jews, it meant a lettered man, one acquainted with 
the sacred writings. They are called also vofJUKoi, lawyers, or men versed in the 
law; vo/uoSiSao-KaAoi, teachers of the law; iepoypa/x/xarei?, because they dealt with 
the sacred writings ; and Rabbis, great ones. 


come out of him. irvciifia aKadaprov is used interchangeably with 
Saifxovtov, demon (AV. devil), to designate these spirits. 1 Beelze- 
bul is their chief, or Satan. See 3 22 - 23 . 

The reality of demoniacal possession is a matter of doubt. The serious 
argument against it is, that the phenomena are mostly natural, not super- 
natural. It was the unscientific habit of the ancient mind to account for 
abnormal and uncanny things, such as lunacy and epilepsy, supernaturally. 
And in such cases, outside of the Bible, we accept the facts, but ascribe 
them to natural causes. Another serious difficulty is that lunacy and 
epilepsy are common in the East, as elsewhere, and yet, unless these are 
cases, we do not find Jesus healing these disorders as such, but only cases 
of demoniacal possession in which these were symptoms. The dilemma is 
very curious. Outside the N.T., no demoniacal possession, but only lunacy 
and epilepsy; in the N.T., no cases of lunacy and epilepsy proper, but only 
demoniacal possession. See, however, Weiss, Life of Jesus, III. 6. 

24. kcu av£Kpa£e — and he cried out? (*Ea)Ti' 17/uv kcu 0-01; — 
What to us and to thee, literally. What have we in common 
which gives you the right to interfere with us ? 

Omit *Ea Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. a* BD 102, 157, Latt. Pesh. Memph. 

rj\0cs aTroXea-aL fj/xas ; — did you come to destroy us ? The demons 
were afraid that Jesus was not only going to cast them out, but to 
remand them to the torments of Gehenna. See Mt. 8 s9 Lk. 8 31 . 
otoa o-e tis el — I know thee who thou art. The change from the 
plural rjfuv, to us, to the sing, olSa, I know, simply brings us back 
to the person speaking for himself, whereas in the y\plv, the demon 
speaks for his class. The question is, what have we demons to 
do with you ? The statement of the demoniac, / know thee, is 
inspired by the demon, and is so explained in v. 34 . 

otdafxev is substituted for oiSa by Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. marg. nLA 
Memph. etc. A probable emendation to make this agree with the plur. 

6 ayios tov ®eov — the holy one of God. The one consecrated 
to God, and employed in his service. 3 See J. io 36 . It gives here 
the reason why the demon feared that a part of Jesus' mission 
(tf\0es) was to dismiss them to their place. 

25. Kcu €7rcTt/M7;crev atrip 6 'I^crovs, <pifjL(x)dr]TL — And Jesus charged 
him sharply, Shut up. A 

Omit \tyuv, saying, T. (WH.) n A*. It is inserted apparently to get 
over the roughness of iir€Ti/j.r)<rev alone. 

1 This use of nvevfJLa. belongs to Biblical Greek. 

2 The first aor. is " rare and late." Sec. aor. ivetcpayov common. 

3 The only other place in which this term is applied to Jesus is John 6 s9 
(Tisch. Treg. WH. RV.). 

4 For other examples of this meaning of inLTi^v, see Mk. 8 30 3 12 Mt. 12 16 . 

24 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [I. 25-28 

<f}Lfjiu)Or}TL — literally, be muzzled} Its metaphorical use to denote 
putting to silence in other ways belongs to later Greek. 

26. <nrapd£av — having convulsed him. It is used in medical 
writers of the convulsive action of the stomach in retching. And 
it is evidently in this secondary sense of convulsing that the word 
is used here, not of actual tearing or lacerating, (puvrjo-av 4>o>vrj 
lizyaXrj — having cried with a great cry. 

Tisch. Treg. \VH. RV. n BL 33, etc. cpuvrjaav instead of Kpd£at>. 

27. wore avt^rCw avrovs — so that they discussed. 

avrovs, instead of npbs ai/rovs (eaurotJs) Tisch. WH. n B and mss. of 
Lat. Vet. 

<rv£r)TCLv — to discuss, or question? Tt co-rt tovto ; SiSa^r) kcuvy) 
kolt iiovauav' ko.1 to?? 7rvcv/Aao-t, etc. — What is this? A new teach- 
ing according to authority. And he commands, etc. 

5t.8axv kclivt) tear' £%ov<rlav is the reading of Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BL 
33. 102. 

The critical texts which adopt the above reading, with the 
exception of Tisch., punctuate differently. They connect kolt' 
i£ovo-Lav with what follows, so that it reads, a new teaching; with 
authority he commands even the unclean spirits. But according to 
v. 22 , this new element of authority resides in the teaching itself, 
so that Kerr' i^ovcriav belongs more naturally with SiSa^r? Kcui/77. 
This new, authoritative teaching makes the first ground of their 
astonishment. And in addition to this, not a part of it, is their 
astonishment at the submission of the spirits to his command. 

28. evOvs, immediately. This is the third instance of this word 
in this short paragraph. Lk., in spite of his general verbal resem- 
blance to Mk., omits it in every case. Here it shows the imme- 
diateness of the fame which followed such exhibitions of authority. 
Ttavraxov ek okrjv ttjv TrepLx<*>pov — everywhere, into all the neigh- 

Insert iravraxov Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. x BCL 69, Lat. Vet. (some 
mss.), Memph. 

ti}s TaAtXata? is partitive gen., denoting the part of Galilee that 
lay about Capernaum. 

Lk. is parallel to Mk. here (4 31 - 37 ) , and the minute verbal resemblance 
again shows obvious interdependence. The secondary character of Lk.'s 
account appears unmistakably in the report of the popular discussion that 
followed the miracle. 

1 For instances of the literal meaning, see 1 Cor. g 9 1 Tim. 5 18 . 

2 This is a Biblical meaning. In Greek, it is restricted to its proper sense, to 
search together. The N.T. meaning is a legitimate derivation from that. 

3 The proper ending of adv. of place with verbs of motion is oi, not ou. The 
N.T. Greek does not observe this distinction, but invariably uses the ending ov. 
Our confusion of where and whither. The use of ^ Trepi^wpo? with yij understood 
is Biblical. 



29-34. Healing of Peter's wife's mother, followed by a 
popular uprising, bringing all the sick of tJie city to him, at 
the close of the legal Sabbath. 

This story is a continuation of the account of this first Sabbath 
in Capernaum. The miracle in the synagogue is followed by the 
healing at Peter's house, and at evening, the whole population, 
who have been restrained only by their fear of breaking the Sab- 
bath, gather at the house, bringing all their sick to him. 

29. Kat evOvs — And immediately. The characteristic use of 
this word continues in this paragraph. See v. 30 . It is omitted in 
the parallel accounts. The whole series, taken together, shows 
how straight events marched from his first appearance in Caper- 
naum to the climax of v. 32, w . These two, v. 29 and w , show more 
particularly the immediateness with which the miracle at Peter's 
house succeeded that in the synagogue. One miracle follows 
another, until finally the whole city bring their sick to him. c£eA- 
Oovres rjXdov — having gone out, they came. 

i£e\06rres 7,\dov Tisch. WH. txt. RV. txt. * ACL TAII Vulg. Memph. 
Pesh. Hard. txt. e^eXdwv ijXdev, having gone out, he came, Treg. WH. marg. 
RV. marg. BD I, 22, 69, 124, 131, 209, 346, Lat. Vet. 2 mss. of Vulg. Hard. 

r)\0ov — they came. The subj. remains the same as in v. 21 , viz. 
Jesus and his disciples, whose call to follow him is given in v. 16-20 . 
But, since Simon and Andrew are mentioned, the writer adds 
James and John specifically, in order to avoid the possible infer- 
ence that only Simon and Andrew are meant. The touch of the 
eyewitness, Peter, is seen here. 

Holtzmann, by coupling this with Jesus' instruction to his disciples (6 10 ), 
that they should stay in any house that they entered, infers that Peter's 
house became Jesus' residence. But that injunction does not apply here, 
as it belongs to Jesus' instructions about their conduct when they entered 
a town for only a short stay during a missionary journey. 

30. Kar€K€LTo rrvpeaa-ova-a — was lying prostrate with a fever. 
The language is descriptive, the prep, in KarUaro denoting the 
prostration of disease, and the part, the fire of fever. The imperf. 
denotes that this was her state at the time. 

31. rjyeipev — raised her, i.e. he made her sit up} koX afyrjKtv 
avrrfv 6 TrvpiTos — and the fever left her. 

Omit cMim Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCL 1, 28, 33, 102, 118, 131, 209, 
Memph. etc. 

1 The vb. in Greek means to rouse, not to raist. 

26 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [I. 31-34 

Sir/Kovei alTois — she served, or waited on them. This is added 
to show the reality and completeness of her recovery. 

32. "Ctyias Se yevo^eV^s — ^4^ evening having come. The Jew- 
ish day closed at evening, and as this was the Sabbath, this 
became the signal for the people, who had been restrained before 
by the strict Rabbinical interpretation of the Sabbath law, to 
bring their sick to him. 1 Mk. adds ore ISv 6 yXios, when the sun 
set, in order to make it more definite that the day was closed, 6xj/ia 
being a general term including time before sunset, whereas the 
day closed with the going down of the sun. It is significant that 
Mt., who does not mention the Sabbath, omits also the sunset. 

rovs Scu/aovi£o/a£voi;s — those possessed with demons, not devils, 
AV. 2 8ta/?oXo5 is the word for devil, and it is never applied to the 
evil spirits, though they are represented as subjects of the devil ; 
cf. on v. 23 . In the Gospels, demoniacs are placed in a class by 
themselves, separate from those afflicted with ordinary diseases. 
In this case, the people brought demoniacs especially, because it 
was the healing of a demoniac that had so excited them. 

8a.lfj.wv is not a word of bad omen in Greek. In the earlier language, it 
is used interchangeably with debs, though more commonly it denotes the 
abstract notion of deity. In the later language, it denotes inferior deities, 
beings between God and man. 

33. rj V oXrj rj ttoAis iinvvvqyuivq — all the city was gathered? 
It was all the sick that were brought, and all the city that gath- 
ered at the door. The miracle in the synagogue caused a popu- 
lar uprising. 

34. 7roAAovs KaKws cxovras . . . Sai/xoVia ttoXXo. — many sick, and 
many demons. It is held by most (Meyer, Weiss, Holtzmann, and 
others) that the many here is in contrast with the all of v. 32 . But 
it does not mean necessarily that it was only many, out of the all 
who were brought to him, who were healed. It may mean equally 
well that the number included in the all was not few but many. 
Many sick is not necessarily the same as many of the sick. The 
latter requires the partitive gen. for its exact expression. Such a 
partial healing would not be inexplicable, since the condition of 
faith required by Jesus might not be present in all cases. But the 
explanation is unnecessary. 

Mt. 8 16 says that they brought many demoniacs, and he cast out the 
demons, and healed all the sick. Lk. says that all who had sick persons 
brought them, and he healed them, laying his hand on each one; and that 
demons went out of many. In Lk.'s account certainly, it is not intended 
to contrast the cure of many demoniacs with that of all the sick. 

1 See Lk. 13W. 

2 RV. text retains devils, marg. demons. American Revisers substitute demons 
in text in all passages where Bai^iav, Sainoviov, or Saiixovi^o/xai occurs. 

3 The double compound eni-avvnyixevrj is not found in classical Greek, though 
the simple compound o-wayeiv is common, int adds to the word the idea of 
gathering upon or towards some point. 


Kcu ovk yjfae \ol\civ to, Sai/zovia, on iJScio-av awoV 1 — And he did 
not suffer the demons to speak, because they knew him. \a\eiv is 
used in the N.T. with a direct obj., but not with on. Where the 
words follow, they are introduced with A.ey«v, saying; cf. Mt. 23* 
Mk. 6 50 Lk. 24 6 . Where on is used, without any intervening word, 
it is causal. 2 The demons are said to speak, instead of the man, 
because the knowledge of Jesus is attributable to the demon, and 
not to the man. The man is represented as inhabited by an alien 
spirit, who used his organs of speech. 

Xpia-rop elvac — to be the Christ, after r}5€L<rau aiirSv, they knew him, 
(WH.) RV. marg. n BCGLM i, 28, 33, 69, 124, mss. of Lat. Vet. and 
Vulg. Memph. Hard. etc. Omitted by ADEFKSUV Latt. Pesh. etc. 
Probable insertion from Lk. 4 41 . 

This knowledge is one of the arguments for the supernaturalism of these 
cases, and one of the difficulties in the way of the naturalistic explanation 
of them. And it is not to be set aside lightly. But the reflections of the 
evangelists are to be distinguished from their statement of facts. And a 
supernatural cause once posited naturally gathers supernatural phenomena. 


35-45. Jesus makes a tour of Galilee, preaching and heal- 
ing. Cure of a leper. 

After the popular uprising following Jesus' first day's ministry in 
Capernaum, he withdraws to a solitary place to pray. His disci- 
ples beseech him to return to take advantage of his popularity, 
but Jesus refuses, saying that he came out to proclaim the king- 
dom elsewhere. In pursuance of the same policy, he enjoins 
silence on a leper whom he heals during this tour of Galilee, and 
the man's disobedience forces him to retire from the towns and 
synagogues to uninhabited places, whither the people follow him. 
This section is of first-rate importance in this narrative of the 
beginning of Jesus' ministry. He appears at the beginning as a 
miracle worker, and maintains that character consistently to the 
end of the Galilean ministry. But here, at the very beginning, he 
is represented as maintaining whatever secrecy is possible about 
his miracles, and avoiding the notoriety attaching to them. And 

1 fi<f}ie is a rare form of the impf. of a$ufpt, from a<t>i<o, with the augment on the 
prep. See Win. 14. 3. b. 

2 Thay.-Grm. Lex. explains this as equivalent to *repl tovtov on, concerning this, 
that. But it supposes a difficulty requiring an explanation, whereas the causal 
sense of on leaves nothing to explain. 

28 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [I. 35, 36 

the only account of a miracle in this first missionary journey is 
that of one in which disobedience to this injunction of secrecy 
made it impossible for him to continue his work in the towns, so 
that he was forced to retire into solitary places. The reason for 
this secrecy about what was nevertheless a prominent feature of 
his work is to be found in the fact that he sought from men a faith 
which was hindered, not helped, by external signs. 

The miracles lent themselves also to false, outward conceptions 
of himself and his work. And evidently they had their raison 
d'etre in themselves, and not in any effect which they were 
intended to produce. They are primarily works of benevolence, 
not of supernaturalism. 

35. 7rpo)t evwxa Atav — in the morning, a great while before day. 
RV. Literally, very much at night} 

tvpv x a, instead of tvvvxov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL i, 28, 33, 131, 
209, etc. 

irpwi denotes the last watch of the night from three to six, and 
€vwxa Xiav, the part of this watch which reached back very much 
into the night. Zprj/xov tottov — a solitary place. The story points 
to some place of this kind near Capernaum. Trpoo-qvx^ro — he was 
praying. The imperf. denotes what he was doing when Simon and 
the rest pursued and found him. We are not told the subjects of 
Jesus' prayers, except in Gethsemane. But the occasions are sig- 
nificant. The only other in Mt. and Mk. is after the miracle of 
feeding the 5000, where the fourth Gospel explains the urgency of 
Jesus to get rid of both disciples and multitude by the statement 
that they are about to force him to be a king. Lk. adds to these 
three, which are all of which we have an account in Mt. and Mk., 
several others of less significance. But he gives one of the same 
character. After the healing of the leper, Jesus is represented in 
that Gospel as not only retreating before the sudden access of his 
popularity, but as praying. One of these cases might not be 
enough to warrant the conclusion, but taken together they indi- 
cate that Jesus was praying that he might not be ensnared by this 
popularity, or in any way induced to accept the ways of ease 
instead of duty. 

36. Ka.T€.U(ji£tv avrov — pursued him closely. See Liddell and 
Scott, Gr. Lex. The EV '., followed after, is inadequate. Kara, as 
in our expression, to hunt down, gives the idea of hard, persistent 
search. The word occurs only here in the N.T. ko.1 ol /xct avrov 

1 evvvxos is properly an adj. meaning nocturnal. This is the only place where it 
occurs in the N. T., and its adverbial use is quite late. 


— and those with him. Andrew, James, and John are meant. 
See v. 29 . 

37. Kat evpov avrbv /cat Xeyownv — And they found him and say. 

evpov airbv Kal, instead of ei/pdvres a&rbv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BL 
one ms. of Lat. Vet. Memph. etc. 

otl 7rdvTe<$ £rjTov<rL o-€ — that all are seeking for thee} All the 
people of Capernaum, which he has just left, are meant. The 
disciples bring him the news that the excitement of the previous 
day is not abated, and are anxious evidently that he should not 
fail to follow up so notable a success. 

38. *Aya>fAev dAAa^ov — let us go elsewhere. 2 

dXKaxov, elsewhere, is inserted by Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC*L « 
Memph. etc. o:> ' 

c^o/x€va5 KU)fjLOTr6\u<; — neighboring towns. The noun denotes 
something between a village and a city, approximating a city in 
size, but unwalled. 3 

cis tovto yap i£f}\0ov — for for this did I co?ne out. The context 
shows plainly that he refers to his coming out of Capernaum, 
which has been mentioned just before, v. 35 . Not out of heaven, 
an expression and idea which belong to the fourth Gospel, and are 
not found in the Synoptics. Moreover, the purpose to preach to 
other towns than Capernaum is singularly inapposite as a state- 
ment of the object of his coming into the world. It is commensu- 
rate with his leaving Capernaum, but not with his leaving heaven. 
He did not wish to confine himself to one place, and his coming 
out as he did, early, would enable him to escape the importunity 
of the people, who sought to confine him to this. 

39. Kat rjXOev KrjpxxrcriDv eis ras o-wayooyas avrtov cis oXrjv rr)v 
YaXiXaiav — And he came, preaching to their synagogues, into all 
Galilee, and casting out demons. 

fj\0ep els, instead of 1)p ev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL Memph. The 
construction with this reading is not without difficulty, especially the use of 
eis with K7)pva<T(av, to denote those to whom the proclamation is made. 
And probably, this original form of the text was changed to avoid this 
roughness. But, while the Lexicons consider it necessary to explain this 
use of et's, they admit it. This leaves the second et's with oXijv ttjv Ta\i- 
Xaiav to depend on ij\dev. 

Kal t<x hatp.6vLa iKfiaXXw — and casting out the demons. Before, 
vv. 32 - 34 , this miracle is separated from the rest. Here it is men- 
tioned by itself without the rest in such a way as to represent 

1 o-e, thee, turns this into direct discourse. An incongruous blending of direct 
and indirect discourse, more or less common in N.T., as in other Greek. 

2 On this termination, ov instead of 01, see footnote on navraxov v. 28 . This 
word does not occur elsewhere in N.T. 

8 ku)/ dogs not occur elsewhere in N.T. It belongs to the later Greek. 

30 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [I. 39-42 

them. Although it is the only miracle mentioned, it was evidently 
not the only one performed. It is selected as the great and rep- 
resentative miracle. And it is not improbable that it was, so to 
speak, our Lord's favorite miracle, because here the physical and 
spiritual parts of his work coincided. 1 

40. AcVpos — a leper. The reason for introducing this one mir- 
acle, among the many belonging to this journey, is told in v. 46 . It 
turned him aside from his original purpose of visiting the neighbor- 
ing towns, and forced him into retirement. TrapaKaXuiv avrbv ko.1 
yowTTcrSiv, Atywv avr<$ — beseeching him and kneeling, saying to 

Omit airbv after yovvircrQp, Tisch. WH. « L I, 209, some mss. of Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. etc. Omit teal yovvirerQv avrbv Treg. marg. (Treg.) RV. marg. 
(WH.) BDG T 102, 124, some mss. of Lat. Vet. etc. Omit Kal before 
\^7wv Tisch. WH. n* B 69* Memph. etc. 

With this reading, \iywv saying, is not co-ordinate with Traoa- 
KaXwv and yovu7r€Tcov, but subordinate to them, iav OiX-fls Svva- 
<rai — if thou wilt, thou canst. He does not doubt the ability, 
but the willingness of Jesus. This willingness is the point that 
all petition seeks to carry, the doubt that it seeks to remove. 
Ka0apLo-ai — cleanse. Leprosy was not only a repulsive and dan- 
gerous disease, but it made a man unclean ceremonially, so that 
lepers were cut off from intercourse with their fellows, and assigned 
a place by themselves outside the gates. 3 It was a part of Jesus' 
disregard of the merely ceremonial part of the law that he allowed 
these unclean persons to approach him. It did not accord with 
his nature to obtrude this disregard, but he had no scruples when- 
ever the law interfered with higher things. 

41. Kat o"7rA.ay;(vio-0eis, c/cTetva? rrjv x e ^P a — And having been 
moved with compassion he stretched out his hand} 

Kai, instead of '0 5£ 'lyo-ovs, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BD 102, mss. of 
Lat. Vet. Memph. etc. 

rjif/aro airov — he touched him. The touch, or laying on of the 
hand, was the natural symbolical action accompanying the cure, 
being the sign of any benediction, common to Jews and Chris- 
tians. 5 

42. Kat €vOv<; aTrqXQtv ... 17 Xitrpa — And immediately the leprosy 

Omit elwbvros airov before evdi/t Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL 16, 69, 
102, mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. etc. 

1 See «H 15. 22. 67. 13. 2 y0|/l)ireT w V belongs to later Greek. 

3 See Lev. 13*5- «. 

* The meaning and form of o-jrAayxvifo/xai are late. trirXayxvevoi is the proper 
form, and its meaning is to eat the inwards of a victim after sacrifice, or to obtain 
auguries from them. The meaning compassionate comes from the Heb., which 
regarded the anKiyxva, the inwards, as the seat of pity and tenderness. 

5 See 10I6 Acts 818 917 133 1 Tim. 4^ 2 Tim. i«. 


evOvs denotes the immediateness, and so the miraculousness of 
the cure. Mt. tells of twelve cures, in two of which he specifies 
immediateness ; Mk. of thirteen, in six of which he describes the 
cure as immediate ; and Lk. of fourteen, in seven of which he 
uses the word irapaxpqixa, on the spot. This includes only the 
cases in which either this word or evOvs is used. There are 
others, in which such a phrase as from that hour is used. And 
not only the immediateness, but the completeness, of the cure is 
frequently dwelt upon. 1 

43. ifjLf3piixr}adfAevo<; — AV. he strait/y charged him. RV. strictly 
charged him. Either of these is an inadequate translation. The 
N.T. meaning of the word is to be angry, but the difficulty is to 
find any cause for anger. Weiss finds it in the fact that the man 
had broken the wholesome law forbidding persons with this dan- 
gerous disease from coming into contact with their fellows, and 
attributes Jesus' urgency to get rid of him to the same cause. 
Consistently with, this, he supposes that the cure was only gradual, 
and that the leper was still liable to infect others when he left 
Jesus. Mk.'s story becomes secondary of course as it is plainly 
inconsistent with this hypothesis. Weiss thinks that Mk. introduces 
this word inadvertently, as it shows plainly a different version of 
the whole affair. The original account he finds in Mt. 8 2-4 . But 
it is Mk. himself who betrays this by his inadvertent ifx/Spiixrjo-d/jLe- 
vo?. Verily, this is to hang much on a small peg. If anywhere, 
Mk. shows here the indubitable marks of originality. And how 
much more probable is his account of Jesus' urgency to get rid of 
the man than Weiss's, who lays it to the danger of infection, and 
so to an imperfect cure. Mk., on the other hand, attributes it to 
our Lord's dread of the notoriety caused by his miracles. Weiss's 
whole theory of the gradualness of Jesus' cures, and of his regard 
for the Levitical law, of which this makes a part, is unsupported. 
But neither is Meyer's explanation, that he foresaw the man's dis- 
obedience, quite probable. It puts its finger on the source of the 
trouble, but it mistakes in making it foresight on the part of Jesus. 
Our Lord is vexed at the whole situation of which the man makes 
a part, at the clamor over the mere externals of his work, and this 
is expressed in some sharp word, with which he accompanies the 
thrusting of him out of the house (or synagogue). It may be 
translated, having spoken sternly to him? It does not denote the 
tone with which Jesus spoke the words given here, as the action of 
the verb and participle are apparently distinct. But it denotes some 
utterance accompanying the i£efia\ev, and partaking of its spirit. 

1 See isi- 44 2 12 Mt. iai3 Mk. 52a Mt. 932. 33 Mk. 7^. 

2 See Mt. 930 Mk. 146 J. n33.38 for the other instances of N.T. use of word. 
Of these, Mt. 9 30 shares the ambiguity of this passage. The original meaning is 
to snort, which certainly makes room for it to denote an expression of feeling, as 
well as the feeling itself. 

32 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [I. 43, 44 

i&ftaXev — AV. sent him away. RV. sent him out. Both in- 
adequate again. Thrust, or put him out, conveys the idea. This, 
as well as €fx(3ptfxrjcrdfX€vo<;, indicates the urgency of Jesus' action. 
He wishes to repress the natural, but misguided, impulse of the 
leper to stay and contribute to the adulation and excitement 
gathering about Jesus. 

44. "Opa, /av/Sevt fxrjUv utttj^ — Take heed lest you say anything 
to anybody} The reason for this prohibition is not the urgency 
of his performance of the legal requirements, with which nothing 
must be allowed to interfere, but the danger in which Jesus stood 
of just the results which followed his disobedience. His spread- 
ing the story prevented Jesus' work in public, and forced him into 
retirement, and so Jesus forbade his telling it. And the words in 
which he warned him off this dangerous ground are made as sharp 
as possible, creavrbv Sei£ov tu> upu kcu irpovivtyKc. — show thyself 
to the priest, and offer? eh /xaprvptov avroU — for a testimony to 
them. These words are to be connected with Stiiov and virivcy kc 
— show thyself to the priest, and make the prescribed offering, for 
a testimony to them. Take this official way, authorized and pre- 
scribed by the law, of testifying to your cure. This case, taken by 
itself, would be one of subservience to the law. And Weiss makes 
it the text of a discourse on Jesus' strict conformity to the law, 
ceremonial as well as moral. 3 But this is an evident overstate- 
ment, to say the least. Jesus' general position is that of a Jew, 
conforming himself, as any sane man would, to Jewish law and 
custom. And yet, sometimes he acts as if there was no such law. 
But in both observance and non-observance, he acts simply as a 
rational spirit, bound by definite principles, but conforming to 
fixed rules only so far as they do not interfere with the principles. 
Take, e.g., what he says about the higher law in its relation to the 
Sabbath, and about the principle of fasting. In this very case, 
his touch of the leper made him unclean, so that his action com- 
bined both observance and non-observance. And in his discourse 
about eating with unwashed hands, he abrogates the distinction 
between clean and unclean. No, to judge of his action here in 
a large way, it is apparent that Jesus would not have encouraged 
the man to disregard the law, and might very likely have bidden 
him observe it, just as he would himself. But this insistence on it 
can scarcely be attributed to Jesus' anxiety or scrupulosity about 
ceremonial law. But the provision for official announcement of 
the cure to a single person in Jerusalem, by taking the place of 
publishing it abroad in Galilee, gave Jesus an opportunity to sup- 

1 See Win. 56, 2, b, 0. On the double negative, nothing to nobody, see Win. 

55. 9. *• 

2 The prescribed ceremonial and offerings for the cleansing of a leper are found 
in Lev. 14. 

8 Life ofjesui, II. ch. II. 


plement his prohibition with a reminder of what the law provided 
in such cases. 

45. r/p^aro K-qpvcrcruv 7roXXa kcu hLa<pr),uv tov Xoyov — began to 
publish much {extensively) and to spread abroad the event, tov 
Xoyov — is the object of both verbs, ypiaro — calls attention to 
the beginning of this action. He no sooner went out than he 
began to publish the affair, wore ixtjkctl avrov SvvaaOai — so that 
he was no longer able. An inability arising from the condition 
and principles of Jesus' work, ek -ttoXlv — into a city. Jesus was 
on a tour, going about from place to place, and els ttoXlv has 
therefore the proper meaning of the anarthrous noun. €7r' ip-q^ois 
T07rois — in solitary, uninhabited places. iravroOcv — from all sides. 

Trdvrodev, instead of wavrax^dev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDL, etc. 
i> 33, etc. eir' epiq/j-ots Tisch. Treg. WH. N BL A 28, 124. 

The command not to tell the story of the cure was not confined 
to this case, but was so frequent as to justify us in saying that it 
was the custom of Jesus. And this account gives the result of 
disobedience to it in an extreme case. It made a turning-point 
in the history of this mission, producing a change in our Lord's 
plans, which is apparently the reason for introducing it here. 

But why should Jesus try to preserve this secrecy about his 
miracles ? Evidently, his thought about them was different from 
the ordinary thought of the Church, as it was different from that 
of his own time. But the reason is very simple. The miracles 
were sure to be treated as external signs, whereas Jesus relied on 
internal signs. As external, moreover, exhibitions of a supernatu- 
ral power, they confirmed the people in their expectation of a 
national, worldly Messiah, and raised in them just the false hopes 
which Jesus was seeking to allay. And finally, by the excitement 
which they created, they interfered with the quiet methods of 
Jesus' spiritual work. 


Holtzmann rationalizes this miracle by explaining KaOapiaai, the 
cleansing of the leper, as a removal of his ceremonial uncleanness 
by Jesus. The man was cured already before he came to our 
Lord, and he wishes Jesus to pronounce him clean, in order to 
save him the journey to Jerusalem. He admits that the evange- 
lists do not mean this, but intend to tell the story of a miraculous 
cure. But he contends that this simply shows how the story of 


natural events grew into supernatural form in their hands. Un- 
fortunately for his hypothesis, he accepts the theory of the Synop- 
tical Gospels which traces them to apostolic sources, and especially 
makes Mk. the rehearser of Peter's story. This does not give 
the required time for myths to grow. This first-hand testimony is 
the starting-point in establishing the credibility of the miracles. 
Then, they stand or fall with the historicity of the whole account 
of Jesus, which is not generally denied. One of the first princi- 
ples of a true criticism is, that any attempt to patch out a story 
with unreal details will betray itself by the incongruities of the 
addition. But you cannot separate the miracles from the rest of 
the story in this way. They are part of the texture of the story. 
Especially, they have a uniqueness which belongs to the character 
of Jesus, and to the principles of his action, and which makes 
invention an impossibility. A scheme of miracles which rigor- 
ously excludes everything but works of beneficence — all mira- 
cles of personal preservation, of punishment, of mere thaumaturgy, 
never occurred to any one but Jesus. The moment we go forward 
or back from him in Jewish history we find all these. And yet, 
the same generation tells us the story of Ananias and Sapphira, 
and of Elymas the Sorcerer, and, with entire unconsciousness of 
the difference, the story of Jesus' miracles. His miracles are 
signs, not because of their power, but because of this divine unique- 
ness of their spirit. Jesus' reticence about them, his endeavor to 
push them into the background, is another feature of this unique- 
ness. It is a revelation in action of his deep spirituality, the story 
of which is told by his contemporaries with evident unconscious- 
ness of its significance. In fact, the grounds of Jesus' solitary 
greatness are to be found in the miracles, as in the rest of the life, 
and in the teaching, and they are of the same kind. 


With this chapter begins the period of conflict in the life of our 
Lord. It is apparent in the preceding chapter that Jesus is not 
at all satisfied with the situation created by his sudden popularity, 
regarding it as a serious hindrance to his work. But now, instead 
of the superficial enthusiasm of the people, he has to encounter 
the growing opposition of their leaders. At first, this is aroused 


by his extraordinary claims, then by his revolutionary act in call- 
ing Levi, the tax-gatherer, to become his personal disciple, and 
finally by his revolutionary teaching in regard to fasting and Sab- 
bath observance. Mk. produces this impression as plainly by his 
selection of events as if he had given this section the title Period 
of Conflict. Lk. gives the same grouping, while Mt. distributes 
these events. 


II. 1-12. Jesus' return to Capernaum. Healing of a 
paralytic. Jesus announces the cure as a forgiveness of 
tJie sins which have produced the disease. The Scribes 
protest against this blasphemy. Jesus defends his claim to 
forgive sins, and proves it in this case by the cure. 

Immediately after the return of Jesus to Capernaum, the crowd 
gathers again in such numbers as to prevent access to him. But 
four men bringing to him a paralytic, not to be turned back, gain 
access to the roof of the house in which he was, tear up the roof, 
and let the paralytic down. In healing him Jesus says, Thy sins 
are forgiven, meaning the sins that have produced the disease. 
The Scribes, who make their first appearance here, protest against 
this as blasphemy. Jesus meets their charge by showing that 
forgiveness is here only another name for cure. But he asserts 
his right to forgive sins, and proves it by the cure. 

1. Kat elo-eXOiov 7raA.1v . . . rjKovvd-q — And having entered again 
. . . it was heard. 

tiveXddiv, instead of darfkdcv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDS 1- L 28, 33, 
124, mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. etc. Omit xai before r/Ko^a-dTj Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. M BL 28, 33, 124, mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. etc. 

7raA.1v — again. See i 21 . It is a peculiarity of Mk. that he notes 
the recurrence of scenes and places in his narrative. Lk. uses this 
word only twice, and Mt. uses it almost entirely to denote the 
different parts of discourse, not the recurrence of the same, or 
similar occasions. oY ^epwv — after {some) days} iv oUto — 
in the house, or at home? 

iv oticy, instead of els oikov, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BDL 33, 67, most mss. 
of Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

1 See Win. 47, 1. 64, 5. 

2 The prep, with the anarthrous noun constitutes a phrase. 


2. Kal <rwrixQw av iroSXol — and many were gathered together. 

Omit evdius Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. N BL 33, 102, mss. of Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 

coo-re fX7jK€Tt x°>pzw M^ T <* 7r P° q T *l v ^P av — so that not even 
the parts towards the door {on the outside) would hold them any 
longer. Not only was the house too small for the crowd, but not 
even outside, near the door, was there room for them. 1 koL cAaAet 

— and he was speaking. The imperf. denotes what he was doing 
when the bearers of the paralytic came. AV. preached. RV. 
spake, rov Xoyov — the word. The word of the Gospel, or glad 
tidings of the kingdom of God, with the accompanying call to 
repentance. See i 14 - 15 . 2 

3. irapaXvriKov — a paralytic? 

4. Kat fxrj SwdfxevoL irpoveviyKai — And as {they saw that) they 
were unable to bring him to him. fxrj shows that their inability is 
not viewed simply as a fact, but in their view of it, as it influenced 
their minds. 4 

7T poverty /ecu, instead of wpoffeyylirai, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. marg. 
n BL 33, 63, 72 marg. 253, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Hard. etc. 

aireo-Teyao-av rrjv areyrjv — they unroofed the roof. Uncovered t 
EV., does not render the paronomasia of the Greek. 5 c^opu&xvrcs 

— having dug it out. This describes the process of unroofing. 
It would imply probably some sort of thatched roof. x a ^ <TL T ° v 
KpdfioLTTov — they let down the pallet. The noun denotes any 
slight bed, such as might be used to carry the sick about the 
streets, a stretcher? ottov — where {on). 

6irov, instead of e<p y $ Tisch. Treg. WH. n BDL two mss. Lat. Vet. 

The roofs of Eastern houses were flat. Access to the roof would be easy 
by an outside stairway or ladder. The description, moreover, implies that 
this house had only one story, according with what we know of the humble 
position and means of Jesus and his followers. 

5. tt?v ttio-tlv avT&v — their faith. That is, the faith of the 
paralytic and his friends. That it was their faith, and not simply 
his faith, would show several things. First, that faith is not the 
psychological explanation of the cure, through the reaction of the 
mind on the body, in which case, the faith of the others would 

1 xcupeli/ is transitive and has ri npbs iV Ovpav for its subject. On the repetition 
of the negative, see Win. 55, 9, b. On the construction of (Za-re with prj and the 
inf. — always so in N.T. — see Win. 55, 2, d. 

■2 For other instances of this use of 6 Aoyos to denote in a general way the subject 
of Christian teaching, see 414-88 Lk. i 2 . 

3 This word belongs to Biblical Greek. The Greeks said TrapaA.eXvMeyos. 

4 See Win. 55, 5,,^, 0. 

6 This is the only case of the use of this verb in the N.T. 

6 xakCxri commonly means to slacken, or relax, and to let down, when this 
involves slackening. KpdpaTTov is a late Greek word copied from the Latin graba- 
tus. The Greeks said <r*a'/x7rovs. 


have nothing to do with it, — but the spiritual condition of the 
miracle. This is also shown by the cure of demoniacs. Secondly, 
that Jesus meant here by the forgiveness of the man's sins only 
this removal of the physical consequences of some sin affecting 
the nervous organization. The removal of the spiritual penalty 
would be conditioned on the faith of the man himself. However, 
this is simply the reflection of the writer on the facts. And it is 
in the narration of facts, that the value of contempora?ieous witness 
appeal's. In the historical judgment of the Gospels, this distinc- 
tion between facts and reflections has frequently to be remem- 
bered. Tckvov, a<f>ievTa.L <rov at d/xapTiai — Child (EV. Son), thy 
sins are forgiven. 

acplevrou, instead of acpiuvrcu, Tisch. Treg. WH. x B 28, mss. of Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. Pesh. Hard. 

6. twv ypa/x/xareW — of the Scribes} This is the first encoun- 
ter of Jesus with the formalists and dogmatists of his time. So 
also in Mt. and Lk. And the matter in controversy, the extraor- 
dinary claims of Jesus, was sure to become an issue between them. 
The opposition to Jesus is easily explained. SiaA.oyi£op,evoi h rats 
KapStats — debating in their hearts. KapSia, in the N.T., does not 
denote, like our word heart, the seat of the affections, but the 
inner man generally, and more specifically, the mind. This cor- 
responds to the Homeric use, the common Greek use being like 

7. Tt ovros ovto) AaAet ; fl\a<T<f>r)ixei. — Why does this one speak 
thus ? he blasphe?nes. 

pXao-^rj/xe?, instead of p\aa<t>r)ixla$, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDL mss. 
of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

(3\a<r<j>r)iAeZv is used of any speech derogatory to the Divine 
majesty. The generic sense of the word is injurious speech, among 
men, slander. In this case, the supposed blasphemy consists in 
the assumption of the Divine prerogative, ct fxrj ch 6 ®eos ; except 
one, God? This is a good example of the ill usage that good 
principles receive at the hands of men who deal only with rules 
and formulas. As a general proposition, this statement of the 
Scribes is undeniable. The difficulty is, that they ignored the 
possibility of a man's speaking for God, and the fact that they had 
before them one in whom this power was lodged preeminently. 2 

8. tw TTvev/jLan avrov — in his spirit. This is contrasted with 
the knowledge acquired through the senses, e.g. in this case, by 
hearing what was said. Without their saying anything, he knew 
inwardly, intuitively, what was going on in their minds. Jesus 
knew generally their intellectual attitude, and their position towards 

1 See on i 22 . 2 In J. 20 23 , Jesus extends this power to his disciples. 


any attempt to live according to the spirit, instead of the letter of 
things, and the mere look of their faces would put him on the 
track of their thoughts. Ae'yei avroh — says to them. 

\4yei, instead of elirev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. k BL 33, mss. of Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. 

9. Tt eVrtv evKOTTwrepov ; Which is easier ? 1 Jesus does not make 
the contrast here between healing and forgiving, but between say- 
ing be forgiven and be healed. The two things would be them- 
selves coincident, and the difference therefore would be only 
between two ways of saying the same thing. The disease being a 
consequence of the man's sin, the cure would be a remission of 
penalty. 'A^ievTcu <rov at a/xaprtat — Thy sins are forgiven. 

'AQUvtcu, instead of 'Acptuvrai, Tisch. Treg. WH. n B 28, mss. of Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. Pesh. Hard. aov instead of <tol, Tisch. Treg. WH. R.V. n 
BEFGHKL, etc. vTaye, instead of irepnraTei, Tisch. M LW C A, and v7ro7e 
e/s rbv o!k6p <rov, D ^, mss. of Lat. Vet. A difficult case to decide, as 
TrepiirdreL may be taken from Mt. and Lk., and vwaye from v. II. 

10. Tva <$€ el'S^Tc — but that ye may know. Here was an oppor- 
tunity to put his power to a practical test. As a general thing, the 
power to forgive sins admits of no such test, but only of those 
finer inward tests by which a change of spiritual condition and 
relation becomes known. But here the forgiveness was manifested 
in an outward change, making itself known in cure, as the sin had 
discovered itself in disease, c&ruowv — authority, or right. This 
is the proper meaning, rather than power, and it evidently fits 
this case. 

6 vlos tov avOpwirov — the Son of Man. This is a Messianic 
title, the use of which is to be traced to the Messianic interpre- 
tation of Dan. 7 13 " 27 . In the post-canonical Jewish literature, it 
appears several times in the Book of Enoch. 2 It is the favorite 
title applied by Jesus to himself in the Synoptical Gospels, Son of 
God being used by Jesus himself only in the fourth Gospel. 3 In 
the passage in Dan., the prophet sees in vision a fifth power suc- 
ceeding the four great world-powers, only this is in his vision like 
a son of man, while the preceding powers have been represented 
as beasts. And in the interpretation that follows (see especially 
v. 18 - 2227 ) this power is said to be the kingdom of the saints of the 
Most High. But later, when the hopes of the people were concen 
trated finally on a Messianic king, this passage was given Messi- 

1 evKonurepov is a late word, and is used in the N.T. only in this phrase, cvko- 
iruTepov eo-Tt. The Greek word for which of two is irorepov. ri means strictly what, 
not which. 

2 For passages, see Thay.-Grm. Lex. For a discussion of the date of the alle- 
gories, in which the Messianic portion of the book occur, see Schiirer, N.Zg. II. 
III. 32. 2. Schiirer, on the whole, favors the pre-Christian date. 

* Son alone is used by Jesus in Mt. n 2 ?" 21 3 * 28 19 , referring to the Divine Son- 
ship in the theocratic sense. 


anic interpretation, and Son of Man came to be a Messianic title, 
though not so distinctive, nor so commonly accepted, as the name 
Messiah. The choice of it by Jesus was partly for this reason. 
To have called himself plainly the Messiah would have precipi- 
tated a crisis, forcing the people to decide prematurely on his 
claim. And it is evident from the doubt of the people, not only 
about what he was, but in regard to this very point, what he him- 
self claimed to be, that the title used by him familiarly was inde- 
cisive. However, there can be little doubt, that the reason for 
the choice of the name Son of Man lay deeper than this, and is to 
be found in the significance of the name itself, aside from its his- 
toric sense. Everywhere, Jesus uses the Messianic phraseology 
of his time, but rarely limits himself to its current meaning. This 
name, Son of Man, was to the Jews a Messianic title, only that and 
nothing more. But Jesus fastens upon it because it identified him 
with humanity, and owing to the generic use of the word Man in 
it, with the whole of humanity. His chosen title, as well as his 
life, showed that his great desire was to impress on us his brother- 
hood with man. 

irrl rrjs yrj<s — upon the earth. Contrasted with the power of 
God to forgive sins in heaven. Of course, the power to forgive 
sins, involved in the mere cure of diseases resulting from them, is 
in itself small. But the significance of these words lies in the 
unity of our Lord's work implied in them. As the redeemer and 
deliverer of mankind, he is appointed to cope with the whole power 
of evil among men, to strike at its roots, as well as its twigs and 
branches, and at its effects, as well as its causes. And the whole 
is so far the one power trusted to him, that one part becomes the 
sign of the other. 

11. 0-01 Xeyw — This is to be connected with ha elSrjTe, the clause 
XiyeL t<o TrapaXvTtKui being parenthetical. This is what he says in 
order to put his power to forgive sins to a test. !y«/>e, apov — 
arise, take up} 

Omit Kal before &pov Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDK'L 13, 28, 33, mss. 
of Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

12. Kat rjyipOr), Kal evOvs apa<; . . . i£r}\0ev Ip-irpovOev — And he 
arose, and immediately having taken . . . went out before. 

koX evdifs, instead of evdtus, icai Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BC*L 33, 
Memph. e/Airpoedev, instead of 4v6,vtlov, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. n BL 187 

The Ip-irpoaOzv TrdvTwv, before all, is introduced to show the pub- 
licity attending Jesus' proof of his power. There was a great crowd 

1 e-yeipw is transitive, and the active is used here in the sense of the passive or 
middle. On the meaning of the verb, see on 1 31 footnote. In the passive or mid- 
dle, in the sense peculiar to the N.T., the meaning is to rise from a reclining 

40 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [II. 12, 13 

of people, Jesus had performed his miracle in distinct answer to a 
challenge of his authority, and the cure was therefore purposely 
public. It contrasts therefore with Jesus' ordinary reserve in the 
performance of his miracles, and with his depreciation of their 
testimony to his mission. And one significance of the event lies 
in this indication of his varying method, and of his power to in- 
clude all the facts in the broad range of his action. i$LaTaa6at — 
were amazed} 8o£d£av tov ©eoV — glorified God? eioa/xev — we 

eidafxev, instead of €?8o/j.ev, Tisch. Treg. WH. CD. The unusual form 
determines the probability of this reading. 


13-17. The call of Levi the tax-gatherer. Jesus answers 
the charge of consorting with this and other obnoxious classes, 
many of whom had eaten with him. 

This is the second cause of offence. The scene changes from 
the house to the shore of the lake, where Jesus finds Levi, a tax- 
gatherer, at the customs station. He calls this representative of a 
despised class into the inner circle of his disciples, and follows 
this up by entertaining at his house many of the same, and of the 
class of open sinners generally. Again it is the scribes who attack 
him for this open association with outcasts. Jesus answers that he 
is a physician, and his business is with the sick. 

13. 7rapa tyjv 6d\ao-<rav — to the side of the sea. This differs 
from rrepnraTcxv -rrapa, which denotes motion by the side of, whereas 
this is motion to the side of. -noXiv — again? The only previous 
event at the lakeside had been the call of the four disciples, i 16 sq. 
The week following, Jesus had gone on a tour through Galilee ; and 
now, on his return, he resorts to his usual place again. Caper- 
naum and the shore of the lake were the scenes of his ministry. 
rjpXtro 77-qos clvtov, kcu eSuW/cev — resorted to him, and he was 
teaching them. The impfts. here denote the acts in their progress, 
the gradual gathering of the crowd, and Jesus' discourse as they 
came and went. 5 

1 In Greek, e^'o-Tij/ui means to displace or alter, and sometimes by itself, but 
generally with <£peiw, or tov <j>povelv, to put one beside himself, to derange. In the 
N.T., it is used always in the sense of amaze, or be amazed, except 3 21 2 Cor. 5 13 , 
where the stronger meaning, to be distraught, reappears. 

2 8o£a£etv means properly to think, to have an opinion. To praise, or glorify, 
is the only N.T. use. s elda/xev is sec. aor., with the vowel of the first aor. 

4 See note on Mk.'s use of n6.\tv, v. 1 

5 Note the difference from the aor. e£i}A0e which denotes the momentary past act. 


14. Aevelv rov rov 'AX<jS>atov — Levi, the son of Alphceus. So 
Lk. $". In Mt. 9 9 , however, where the same event is told in 
almost identical language, MaOOalov, Matthew is substituted for 
Levi. The two are to be identified, therefore, as different names 
of the same person. 

Alphaeus is also the name of the father of James the less. But as Mat- 
thew and James are not associated in any list of the apostles, there is no 
sufficient reason for identifying this Alphaeus with the other. 

e-TTL to rektovLov, not in the toll- house, but near it. See Thay.- 
Grm. Lex. reXcovLov denotes the place in which the customs were 
collected. It is a late Greek word. 1 'AnoXovdei /xot — follow me. 
This is the common language of Jesus in summoning disciples to 
personal attendance on himself, which is evidently the meaning 
here. The apparent abruptness of the call, and the immediate- 
ness with which it is answered, are relieved of their strangeness by 
the fact that Jesus had now been teaching long enough to call the 
attention of men to himself, so that the summons probably brought 
to a crisis and decision thoughts already in Levi's mind. 

15. Kcu yiWcu Kara/ceio-flai — And it comes to pass that he is 
reclining {ai table) . 2 

ylpercu instead of iytvero, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BL 33. Omit iv t£ 
before KaraKeiadai — Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL 13, 33, 69, 102, 124, 

KaTa,K€to-0cu avrov iv rrj olklo. avrov — he was reclining at table 
in his house. Meyer, Holtzmann, and others say that this was the 
house of Jesus. This is contrary to the statement of Lk., who says 
expressly that Levi made him a great feast at his house. But the 
recurrence of the pronoun avrov . . . avrov makes it reasonably 
certain that they refer to the same person. Mt. does not insert 
any pronoun after rrj olklo., and that makes his language point in 
the same direction. And the fact that Mt. and Mk. use different 
language, which nevertheless points to the same conclusion, makes 
that conclusion doubly certain. The connection between this 
event and the call of Levi is thus simply that both show Jesus ' 
revolutionary attitude towards the despised classes of his time. 

reXQvai — tax-gatherers. The name publicans, given them in our Eng- 
lish Bible, comes from the Latin publicani, but in English it has become 
practically obsolete in that sense. Moreover, the Latin publicani does not 
apply to the whole class of tax-gatherers, but only to the Roman knights to 
whom the taxes were farmed out in the first instance. 

1 The repetition of the somewhat peculiar enl to reKwviov in Mt. and Lk. is a 
strong sign of the interdependence of the Synoptics. 

2 yiVeTttc Ka.TaKel<T8ai, it comes to pass, that, is a periphrase not unknown to the 
Greek, but its frequent recurrence in the Synoptics is probably due to Hebrew 

42 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [II. 15, 16 

dfxapTiokol — sinners; i.e. here, those guilty of crimes against 
society and law, the degraded and vicious class. 1 

a-vvav€K€tvTo — were reclining at table with? 

fxad-qraU — disciples. The common word used to describe the 
followers of Jesus, corresponding to the title SiSacncaAos applied to 
him. It is significant, that the names teacher and pupil are chosen 
by Jesus and the disciples to describe the relations between them. 
It is probable, according to the best text, that the last two clauses 
of this verse are to be separated, so that the verse ends with 
7roAAot. 3 The statement is, that there were many of this class of 
open sinners. It does not denote the number present, which 
would be superfluous, but the number of the class. Holtzmann 
calls attention to the situation of Capernaum on the borders of 
the territory of Herod as the cause of the number of tax-gatherers, 
as this made it an important customs station, ol ypafx. tw 3>apto\ 
— the Scribes of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were the sect that 
adhered not only to the Law, but to the rabbinical interpretation of 
the Law, which gradually formed a traditional code by the side 
of the written Law. Their scribes, therefore, would be the rabbis 
of the party that specially believed in the rabbis. Morison is 
right in calling them the arch- inquisitors, the genus inquisitor 
being the Pharisees. 

In the N.T., the use of p.adrjral is confined to the Gospels and Acts. In 
the Gospels, it is applied to the twelve, who formed the inner circle of 
disciples, as well as the larger group outside. In the Acts, it is the general 
name for Christians, the official title apostles being given to the twelve. 

wKoXovdow instead of r/KoXovdrja-av, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL mss. of 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

16. Kat rfKoXovOovv avTio Kat (ol) ypa/x/xareis twv 3>apto-aiW, /cat 
tSovre? otl io~$Ui (rjaOuv) fxera tQ)v a/xaprwAoiv Kat TeAcoyaiv, tXcyov 
rots (XxxO-qTal^ avrov, otl fxera rdv reXcovtov Kat a/xaprwXoiv Iq-QUl ; (Kat 
7riVei) — And there followed him also (the) Scribes of the Pharisees, 
and having seen that he eats with the sinners and tax-gatherers, 
they said to his disciples, Why does he eat (and drink) with the 
tax-gatherers and sinners ? 

/cat ypa/M/xareis t&v Qapto-alwv, /cat iSSvres, instead of /ecu ol ypafj.fxa.TeTs 
/cat ol <t>apt<ra?cu, 186vt€s, Tisch. « BL A 33. tQv Qapiaaluv is the reading 
also of Treg. WH. RV. txt. Insert /cat before idovres also Treg. otl etrdiei, 
instead of avTov eadiovTa, WH. RV. B 33, mss. of Lat. Vet. Pesh. Memph. 
some edd. 8tl ^o-0l€p Tisch. Treg. n DL mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. edd. 
Hard. dp.apTw\Qv /cat tcXwvuv, instead of the reverse order, Treg. WH. 
RV. BDL 33, mss. of Lat. Vet. and of Vulg., Memph. edd. Omit tI before 

1 The word AfiaprwAoi is rare in Greek writers. 

2 The double compound awaveKeivro is found, outside of Biblical Greek, only 
in Byzantine and ecclesiastical writers. avaKel^ai. itself belongs to later Greek, the 
earlier writers using nel^ai and Kara/cei/uou. See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

3 The insertion of xai before i&ovres in v. 16 makes it necessary to connect {jko- 
\ovdovf with lAeyoy, instead of with q<rav. 


8ri Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BL 33, 102, 108, 246.* Omit Kal irlvei (Treg. 
marg.) WH. RV. marg. n BD mss. of Lat. Vet. etc. 

on . . . ZaOUi (kol 7TLvei) — why does he eat {and drink) . . . ? 1 
This charge of eating with tax-gatherers and sinners was fitted to 
discredit Jesus' claim to be a rabbi, or teacher. For the Scribes 
and their followers would not even associate with the common 
people for fear of ceremonial defilement ; much less with the 
vicious class, to eat with whom was an especial abomination. The 
tax-gatherers were classed with sinners, that is, with the vile and 
degraded, not only by the Jews, but all over the Roman Empire. 
The secret of this was, that the taxes were collected, not by the 
paid agents of the government, but by officers who themselves 
paid the government for the privilege, and then reimbursed them- 
selves by extortion and fraud. They let it out to others, and these 
to still a third class, who were selected generally from the inhabi- 
tants of the province, because their knowledge of the people would 
expedite the work. This last is the class called TeAwvai in N.T., 
and the unpatriotic nature of their employment was added to its 
extortionate methods, placing them under a double ban. 

17. ol io-x^ovtc? — they that are strong. EV. whole. The con- 
trast expressed figuratively by strong and sick is given literally in 
the latter part of the verse in the terms righteous and sinners. 
Jesus justifies his conduct in associating with sinners, from the 
point of view of the Pharisees themselves. Admitting them to 
be righteous and the publicans to be sinners, his office of physi- 
cian put him under obligation to the sick rather than the strong. 
But he shows elsewhere that he does not admit this distinction. 
The Pharisees were extortionate as well as the publicans; they 
devoured widows' houses ; but they added to their wickedness by 
assuming a cloak of respectability, and thanking God that they 
were not as other men. The publicans, on the other hand, had 
the grace of honesty, and by their acknowledgment of sin, ful- 
filled the first condition of cure. 

dAAa dfxapTayXovs — but sinners. 

Omit els nerdvoiav, unto repentance, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ABDKL 
mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. Hard, etc. 

This omission leaves Kakicrai to be explained. It means to 
invite or summon; but to what? The answer is to be found by 
following out the terms of the figure. As a physician, Jesus sum- 
mons sick souls to be cured. Or, dropping this figure, as a 
Saviour, he summons sinners to be saved. Owing to the blind- 
ness of men, the ordinary relation between them is reversed. 
Instead of the sick summoning the physician, it is here the physi- 
cian who has to call the sick. 

1 on is here the indirect interrogative, taking the place of the direct, a usage 
unknown to earlier Greek, but occurring a few times in the Sept. and N.T. 



18-22. Jesus answers the complaint of the Pharisees and 
of the disciples of John that his disciples do not fast. 

The third ground of complaint is the failure of the disciples, 
under the influence of the free spirit of Jesus, to observe the fre- 
quent fasts prescribed by the Pharisees as a part of their formal- 
ism, and by the disciples of John as a part of their asceticism. 
Jesus' answer is divided into two parts. The first shows the 
incongruousness of fasting at a time when joy, and not sorrow, 
was the ruling feeling of the disciples, v. 18 " 20 . The second shows 
the incongruousness of such observances as fasting with the new 
dispensation set up by our Lord. It is the incongruity of new 
and old. 

18. ot fjiaO-qral tov 'Iaxivvov koI ot Qapiaauot — the disciples of John 
and the Pharisees. 

ot Qapuraioi, instead of tup $api<raiup, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCD 
mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Hard. txt. etc. 

770-av vt](tt€vovt€<s — were fasting. 1 Fasting, as a religious observ- 
ance, was prescribed in the Law only once in the year, on the 
great day of atonement. But the traditional code of the rabbis 
had multiplied this indefinitely. Twice in the week was the boast 
of the Pharisee. And the importance attached to this empty 
piece of religiosity made it a part of the formal religion of the 
period. koI Ipxovrai — and they come, viz. the disciples of John 
and the Pharisees. 

Mt. 9 14 names only the former. Lk. 5 33 makes this a part of the pre- 
ceding controversy with the Pharisees and Scribes, in which they call atten- 
tion to the practice of the disciples of John and of the Pharisees. 

ot fiaOTjTal Tu>v <£apio-cuW — the disciples of the Pharisees. 

Insert (Mdyral before tup QapuraLup Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. N BC* 
L 33, mss. of Lat. Vet. Hard. marg. 

The disciples of the Pharisees is a singular expression, much as 
if one should speak of the disciples of the Platonists. The Phari- 
sees were themselves disciples of the Scribes, or Rabbis. The dis- 
ciples of John and of the Pharisees were at one in regard to the 

1 vj«/ with the part, is a stronger form of expressing the idea of the impf. than 
the tense. It is characteristic of Mk., and belongs to the picturesqueness of his 


act of fasting, but not in the spirit of the act. The Pharisees 
fasted in a formal, self-righteous spirit, and the teaching of John 
was directed against this spirit. So far as the fasting of his dis- 
ciples reflected the teaching of John and his spirit, it would be a 
part of the asceticism, the mortification of the body, characteristic 
of him. 

19. viol r. w/MJilavos 1 — sons of the bridechamber. A Hebra- 
istic form of expression by which vlos, with the genitive of a thing, 
denotes a person who stands in intimate relation of some kind to 
that thing. The sons of the bridechamber were friends of the 
bridegroom, whose duty it was to provide for the nuptials what- 
ever was necessary. The principle contained in this analogy is 
that fasting is not a matter of prescription, but of fitness. If you 
set times for fasting, the circumstances of the set time may be 
such as to produce joy, instead of sorrow, and so make your fast- 
ing out of place. Fasting, i.e., is an expression of feeling, and is 
out of place unless the feeling is there which it is intended to 
express. But it is a matter, not only of feeling, but of fitness. If 
the circumstances of the time are such as to make sorrow the fit 
feeling, then it is a fit time for fasting also, ov SvvavTcu vrjo-revtiv 
— they cannot fast. This is said, of course, not of the outward 
act, which is possible at any time ; but of fasting in the only sense 
in which it becomes a religious act, or the expression of the feel- 
ing to which it Is appropriated. It is as much as to say, in a time 
of gladness it is impossible to mourn. 

20. curapOrj oltt avruiv 6 w/x<£ibs — It is evident here that Jesus, 
still keeping to the figure, points forward to the time when he 
shall be taken away from the disciples, and then, he declares, will 
be the time for them to fast. This is the first time that he has 
prophesied of his taking away, but we can see that even as a pre- 
monition it is not premature, because of the revolutionary charac- 
ter of his teaching. He had already brought on himself the charge 
of blasphemy, consorted with publicans, one of whom he had intro- 
duced into the immediate circle of his disciples, and shown his 
indifference to the strict law of fasting. And he knew that there 
was much more of the same kind in reserve, oVav — whenever. 
The expression leaves the time of the taking away indefinite. 
iv Ikuvy) ttj 17/xepa — in that day. Days and that day in this verse 
are simply a case of oratio variata, both denoting in a general way 
a period of time. 

iv ixelvri ry yiitpq. instead of the plural, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ABCD 
KL mss. of Lat. Vet. Pesh. Hard. etc. 

21. ovSeis i7ri/3\r)iAa /Scikovs ay vd<f>ov €7rtpa7TT€t €7rt t/xartov 7raA.cuov * 
€i Se 111), alpu to Tr\i]p(j)fJLa air avrov to kcuvov tov TraXaiov — no one 

1 vvfi(j>iLv is a Biblical word. 

46 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [II. 21, 22 

sews a patch of undressed cloth on an old garment; otherwise the 
new filling of the old takes from it. 

Omit koX before oidels Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. « ABCKLS A I. 13,33, 69. 
mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. Vulg. Pesh. Hard. etc. ifidriov ira\ai6v, instead 
of dat., Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL 33. an' avrov, instead of atirov, 
Tisch. WH. RV. n BL, also A 33. 

The RV. translates else that which should fill it up takethfrom 
it, the new from the old. But this seems to require a repetition 
of the prep, airo before rov iraXatov. rb Kaivbv rov 7raAaiov is in 
apposition with to -rrXrjpojfjLa, so that it would read literally, the fill- 
ing takes from it, the new of the old. The substitution of unfilled 
for new is necessary to make the parable an exact fit. It is the 
shrinking of the undressed cloth that strains and tears the old cloth 
to which it is sewed. 

22. Kal ouSeis j3aX\eL olvov vebv eis d<TKOv<s 7ra\cuov<; ' el he \x.y], 
prj^u 6 oivos rovs a<rKovs, Kal 6 otvos a.7r6\\vTai Kal ol olctkol — and 710 
one puts new wine into old skins ; else the wine will burst the skins, 
and the wine is destroyed, and the skins. 

p-qfri instead of pifavei, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL 33, mss. of Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. Omit 6 vebs after 6 ohos, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* DL 13, 
69, 242, 258, 301, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. etc. dirdXXvrai, Kal 
ol a&Kol, instead of ^cx e ' T£U > Kai °' 1 ^ K0 ' 1 airoXovprai, after 6 oivos, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. BL. 102 Memph. Omit the clause ctXXa . . . pXrjrtov 
Tisch. (Treg. WH.) D mss. of Lat. Vet. Omit p\y}Tiov only (Treg.) WH. 
RV. x B 102. The omission is more in Mk.'s manner, and it looks as 
if the clause was borrowed from Lk., where it is undoubted. 

The substitution of skins for bottles, AV., is necessary to make 
the parable tell its story. The skins rot with age, and the new 
wine, as it ferments, bursts them. 

These analogies, among the homeliest and aptest used by our 
Lord, are a further answer to the question why his disciples do 
not fast. For this is evidently the part of the question which it is 
intended that he should answer, not why the disciples of John do 
fast. 1 Nor is it simply a repetition of the preceding, showing the 
incongruity of fasting at this time under another figure. 2 But it 
generalizes, showing the incongruity of the class of things with 
which fasting belongs with the new life of Christianity. The gen- 
eral teaching is that the new teachings and the old forms do not 
belong together. But this is expressed in the two parables in dif- 
ferent ways. In the first, it is the unfitness of piecing out the old 
religion with the new, like a new patch on an old garment. In the 

1 So Weiss. 2 So Morison. 


second, it is the unwisdom of putting the new religion into the old 
forms. The whole is an anticipation of St. Paul's teaching that 
Christianity is not a mere extension of Judaism, and that Jewish 
laws are not binding upon Christians. Dr. Morison sees in the 
figures employed by Jesus only an expression of the incongruity 
of fasting at a time better adapted to feasting. But this would be 
simply a repetition of the preceding teaching contained in the 
figure of the wedding, and not so apt an expression of it either. 
The principle of this interpretation is a good one, that it is well to 
seek in each parable the single point of comparison, and there 
stop. Here the single idea is that of incongruity. But surely the 
figure of the wedding has brought out not simply the idea of 
incongruity, but the special unfitness of this particular act. And 
it is no violation, therefore, of the rule of interpretation to make 
these other comparisons not merely suggest the general idea of 
incongruity, but show also the special incongruity involved. In 
the figure of the wedding, it is the incongruity of fasting and 
joy that is pointed out ; in these figures, it is the incongruity of 
new and old. The old religion attempted to regulate conduct by 
rules and forms, the new by principles and motives, and these are 
foreign, the one to the other. It is not fasting to which objec- 
tion is taken, .but fasting according to rule, instead of its inherent 
principle. As a piece of legalism, or asceticism, in which fasting 
per se becomes of moral obligation, it is incongruous with the 
free spirit of Christianity. 


23-28. Jesus defends his disciples for plucking ears of 
grain on the Sabbath. 

The fourth ground of complaint is the violation of the law of 
the Sabbath. Jesus and his disciples are going through the grain- 
fields on the Sabbath, and the disciples, careless of the strict Sab- 
batism of the Pharisees, pluck the ears of grain and eat them. 
Evidently there was the usual crowd following him, and the Phar- 
isees attack this act as unlawful. In the first part of his reply, 
Jesus argues from an analogous case the admissibility of infringing 
the law to satisfy hunger. In the second part, he shows the nature 

48 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [il. 23-25 

of the law itself, that it is the servant of man, and not man the ser- 
vant of the law, involving the lordship of the Son of Man over 
the law. 

23. crrropLfJaov — sown fields, rfp^avro 68ov 7roieTv ti AAovtcs — 
began, as they went, to pluck, EV. This is the translation natu- 
rally suggested by the context, as it prepares the way for Jesus' 
explanation of their conduct by the parallel case of David. But 
the phrase 6Sov iroi&v does not mean to make way in the sense of 
merely going along or advancing, but to make a road. The middle, 
however, has the former sense. Moreover, this translation makes 
the participle, instead of the verb, express the principal thought. 
On the other hand, the translation, to make a road by plucking the 
ears, besides making Jesus' answer quite unintelligible, presents 
an absurd way of making a road. You can make a path by 
plucking the stalks of grain, but you would make little headway, 
if you picked only the ears or heads of the grain. There are two 
ways of explaining this. We can take 6S6v ttouiv in its proper 
sense, but make the participle denote merely concomitant action, 
not the means or method. They began to break a path {by tread- 
ing dowTi or plucking up the stalks of grain that obstructed their 
path), meanwhile plucking and eating the ears that grew on them. 
Or we can minimize the difficulties in the way of the ordinary 
interpretation, without doing much violence to the laws of speech. 
Surely, in a language so careless of nice distinctions as the N.T. 
Greek, it is not difficult to suppose that an active may be substi- 
tuted for the middle. And there seems to be no doubt that the 
active is used in this sense in Judg. 17:8. And as for making the 
principal and subordinate clauses exchange places, in this case 
the peculiarity is not so great. They began to go along, plucking 
the ears is not so very different from they began, going along, to 

24. o ovk c^eo-rt — what is not lawful. The Sabbath law is 
meant, which forbids work on that day. The casuistry of the 
rabbinical interpreter found here its most fruitful field in drawing 
the line between work and not-work, and managed to get in its 
most ingenious and absurd refinements. But the great difficulty, 
as with all their work, is that they managed so to miss the very 
spirit and object of the law, that they made its observance largely 
a burden, instead of a privilege. Whenever they speak of that 
which is lawful, or unlawful, their standard is not simply the writ- 
ten law, but this traditional interpretation of it. In the same way, 
we can conceive of men now accepting the Bible as their stand- 
ard, and yet admitting to an equal authority an interpretation of 
it contained in creed or confession, and really referring to this 
when they use the terms, Biblical ox unbiblical. 

25. Kai Aeya — And he says. 


Omit avrbs Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL 33, 69, mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. 
Memph. etc. \^y«, says, instead of eXeyev, said, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N 
CL 23* 69, mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. etc. 

26. oIkov rov ®eov — the house of God is a generic term that 
would apply either to the tent or tabernacle in which the Jews at 
first worshipped, or to the later temple. Here, of course, the 
former. It was called the house of God, because in a sense God 
dwelt there, manifesting his presence in the inner shrine, the Holy 
of Holies. 

€7rt 'kfliadap dpx^/oecos — in the high-pries thood of Abiathar. 

Omit rod before apxicptws Tisch. Treg. tnarg. WH. RV. n BL T etc. 

In the account of this in 1 Saml. 21 1 , sqq., Abimelech was 
high-priest, and Abiathar, his son, does not become high-priest 
until the reign of David. See ch. 22 21 . To be sure, other 
passages in the O.T. make the same confusion of names, making 
Abimelech, the son of Abiathar, high-priest in David's time. But 
this does not explain our difficulty ; it only shows that there is the 
same difficulty in the O.T. account. Nor does it relieve it to 
suppose that this means simply that the event took place during 
the lifetime of Abiathar, not during the high-priesthood. For the 
transaction took place between David and the high-priest, and the 
object of introducing the name would be to show in whose high- 
priesthood it took place, not simply in whose lifetime. The impro- 
priety would be the same as if one were to speak of something 
that took place between the Bishop of Durham and some other 
person in the time of Bishop Westcott, when, as a matter of fact, 
Lightfoot was bishop, and it was only during the lifetime of Bishop 
Westcott. And the phrase itself means strictly, during the high- 
priesthood of Abiathar. If such disagreement were uncommon, it 
would be worth while to try somewhat anxiously to remove this 
difficulty ; but, as a matter of fact, discrepancies of this unimpor- 
tant kind are not at all uncommon in the Scriptures. 

rov? aorovs 1-779 7rpo^eo-€a)5 — the bread of setting forth. It is a 
translation of the Hebrew, D"3Sn DnS bread of the face, or pres- 
ence, given to twelve loaves of bread set in two rows on the table 
in the holy place of the tabernacle, or temple, and renewed by 
the priests every Sabbath. S. Lev. 24 s " 9 . The Greek name, taken 
from the Sept., denotes the bread set forth before God. The 
Hebrew name, about which there has been naturally much curi- 
ous writing, seems to mean that the bread, in some way, symbol- 
ized God's presence, tovs icpei? — the priests. 

tous iepeh, instead of rots lepev<ri, Tisch. Treg. tnarg. WH. N BL. 

tovs tepets is the subject of <f>aye?v. The priests were allowed 
to eat the bread after it had been replaced by fresh loaves. In 
this case, there was no other bread, and when David and his hun- 


gry men appeared, it became a case of physical need against rit- 
ual law. Jesus cites it as a case decided by a competent authority 
and accepted by the people, showing the superiority of natural 
law to positive enactment, the same principle involved in the 
alleged illegal action of his disciples. And he evidently upholds 
the correctness of the principle, and not simply the authority of 
this precedent. 

27. to adfifiarov Sia tov avOpunrov — the Sabbath was made on 
account of man, not man on account of the Sabbath. This is 
introduced to show the supremacy of man over the Sabbath. The 
statement that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath follows 
directly from this. If the law antedates man, having its seat in 
God, as the moral law does, it becomes a part of the moral con- 
stitution of things, resident in God, to which man is subservient. 
But if it is something devised by God for the uses of man, then 
the subserviency belongs to the law, and man can adapt it to his 
uses, and set it aside, or modify it, whenever it interferes with his 
good. The law of the Sabbath, if not moral, is either natural or 
positive. Regarded as natural law, the principle involved is that 
of rest, and this places it in the same category as the law of day 
and night. As positive, it is a matter simply of enactment, and 
not of principle. And in both aspects it is liable to exceptions. 
It is only moral law which is lord of man, and so inviolable. 

28. Kvpcos — the noun is emphatic from its position, ko.1 tov 
o-afifiarov — also of the Sabbath, as well as of other things belong- 
ing to the life of man. This lordship, as we have seen, is true of 
everything else except moral law. Of that he would be adminis- 
trator and interpreter, but not Lord. He would be ruler under 
the supreme law, but without the power to modify or set aside, as 
in the case of that which is made for man. 

Weiss, Life of Jesus, contends that Jesus did not here, nor in fact any- 
where, assume an attitude of independence towards the Jewish Law, but 
only towards the current traditional interpretation of it. But surely, the 
statement that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, 
puts the Sabbath law in a separate class, and subordinates it to the moral 
law. Whereas, the O.T. throughout, not only makes the Sabbath a matter 
of moral obligation, but of the highest moral obligation. Judaism is a 
system of rules, Christianity of principles. And so far forth as the Sabbath 
is a rule, that is, so far as it is Jewish, Jesus does abrogate it in these words. 
Weiss confuses matters by neglecting this distinction. 

This early statement of Jesus' lordship, and its use of the term 
Son of Man as his official title, is a good specimen of the way in 
which he tacitly assumed his Messianic character under this title, 
while the doubt in which the whole nation stood of his claim shows 
that he was not understood to make it formally. 



The third chapter continues the account of the Period of Con- 
flict. It contains matter, however, which belongs to the period, 
but not to the conflict. It shows us Jesus attended by larger 
crowds than ever, drawn by the report of his deeds from the 
whole country, as far south as Jerusalem, and as far north as 
Tyre and Sidon. The growth of hostility against him is thus 
shown to be accompanied by an access of popularity with the 
people. The combination of these two features seems to his 
family to make the situation so dangerous, and his own action so 
unwise, that they think him distraught and seek to restrain him. 
In the midst of this is introduced the account of the appointment 
of the apostles, evidently in the connection, as assistants to him in 
his increasing work. The occasions of conflict are, first, the heal- 
ing of a man with a palsied arm on the Sabbath, causing a renewal 
of the Sabbath controversy, and secondly, the charge of the Scribes 
that he casts out demons through Beelzebul, and that he himself 
is possessed by that prince of the demons. He himself brings on 
the controversy about the Sabbath by his question whether the 
Sabbath is a day for good or evil deeds, for killing or healing. 
And the charge of collusion with the devil he meets with the ques- 
tion whether Satan casts out Satan. 


1-6. Jesus heals a withered hand in the synagogue on the 
Sabbath, and stirs up fresh opposition against himself. 

The fifth offence of Jesus against the current Judaism is a case 
of healing on the Sabbath. It belongs evidently to a period 
when the freedom of Jesus' treatment of this sacred day had 
created considerable notoriety, for his enemies are on the watch 
for him to give them a fresh charge against him. The scene is 
the synagogue, and the case is that of a man with a withered hand. 
Jesus himself is the challenger this time, as he calls the man out 
into their midst, and meets their scruple with the question, whether 
it is allowable to confer the good of healing, or to inflict the injury 
of refusing to heal. 

52 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 1-4 

1. 7rdX.iv cis (Tvvaywyrjv — again into the synagogue} 

Omit tt)v before avvaywyfiv Tisch. Treg. (Treg.) WH. N B 102. The 
art. is an apparent emendation. 

The 7toA.iv, again, keeps up the connection with preceding visits 
to the synagogue, after the manner of Mk. See i 21-28 . c^pa/x/xc- 
vrjv ttjv x^P a — th* hand withered. The article is the possessive 
article. 2 The participle, i^rjpa/xfiivrjv instead of the adjective, 
denotes a process, and not simply a state, and hence, an effect 
produced by disease, and not an original defect. 

2. iraptrripovv — they were watching. The imperfect denotes 
the act in its progress. There is no subject expressed here, but it 
is easily supplied from our knowledge of the class who insisted on 
these rigors of Sabbath observance. And v. 6 tells us that it was 
the Pharisees who went out and conspired with the Herodians 
against him. 

3. tt)v x«pa exovrt £rjp&p (or r^v t-rjpap x^P a *X 0PTl Tisch.), Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BCL A 33, 102, one ms. of Lat. Vet. Memph. Hard. etc. 

3. "Eyeipe 3 eh to fiiaov — Arise {and cofne) into the midst 
"Eyeipe instead of "Eyeipai, Tisch. Treg. WH. n ABCDL A etc. 

This is a pregnant construction. The action begins with eyeipe 
and ends with eh to ttcVov ; but between these, there is an inter- 
mediate act, of coming or stepping. By this act, Jesus challenged 
the attention of the carpers to the miracle that he is about to per- 
form. Not as a miracle, however, but as a case involving the 
principle in dispute between himself and them in regard to healing 
on the Sabbath. 

4. "E£eo-ri aya.0o7roif}o~aL * — Is it allowable to do good ? dya.60- 
7roLr}<rai, and its contrasted verb KaKOTroirja-ai, may mean to do good 
or evil, either in the sense of right and wrong, or of benefit and 
injury. The connection here points to the latter meaning. 

Mt. says that the Pharisees began by asking him if it was lawful to heal 
on the Sabbath; Lk., that he knew their thoughts, and so asked them the 
question about doing good and evil. Both are attempts to explain the 
apparent abruptness of Jesus' question. 

This question of Jesus not only suggests the general principle 
that makes healing permissible on the Sabbath, but is aimed 

1 The omission of the art. is probably due to the fact that €« aw ay<ayr}v had 
passed into a phrase, like ei? 61kov, or our to church. 

2 Lk. 6 6 says the right hand. Dr. Morison contends that this is the reason for 
the use of the art. But evidently, the art. is insufficient for this discrimination, as 
the other use, allowing it to apply to either hand, is so much more obvious. 

3 On the use of lyetpe, see on 2 11 . 

4 aya9oitoir)<Tat is a Biblical word. tvtpytTeZv is the Greek word, or «5 wom* 
*a(coiroieii' is a good Greek word. 


directly at the specious distinction made by the Scribes. They 
admitted no healing, except where life was in danger, on that day. 
The point of Jesus' answer is found in the substitution of the posi- 
tive for the negative in the second part of the contrast. They 
regarded the not healing as simply an omission of ayaOoiroirja-ai ; 
Jesus treats it as a positive KaKowoLrjo-ai. Not to do good to a per- 
son needing it is the same as to do him evil ; to withhold a good 
is to inflict an injury. But he deals more directly and boldly with 
their fallacy in the second part of the question, showing that not 
to heal is in any case to be classed with killing. The case in 
which life is in danger is not therefore a case by itself, but includes 
in itself a principle applicable to all cases of sickness. To weaken 
life is not the same thing in degree as to end life, but of the same 
kind notwithstanding, and therefore morally in the same class. 
The principle is analogous to that stated in the Sermon on the 
Mount, where Jesus shows that the law against murder is directed 
equally against any manifestation of anger. In all these discus- 1 
sions, beginning with 2 13 , Jesus appears as the emancipator of j 
the human spirit, revealing principles, instead of rules, as the guide 
of human conduct, and so delivering all men possessed of his 
spirit from the fetters of conventional morality. 

5. €o-iw77w — they kept silence. This is a case in which the 
imperfect denotes the continuance of a previous state, /xct' opyrjs^ 
— Anger is legitimate in the absence of the personal element. 
Anger caused by wrong done to me, and seeking to retaliate on 
the person doing it, is clearly wrong. But anger against wrong 
simply as wrong, and without evil design or wish against the per- 
petrator, is a sign of moral health. <Tv\\v7rovptvo<; — The preposi- 
tion in composition may denote merely the inwardness of the act, 
as in o-woiSa, to be conscious, i.e. to have inward knowledge ; or it 
may denote what is shared with others, as the same word crvvoi&a 
may mean to know with others, to be privy to. Probably it is the 
latter here, denoting the sympathetic character of his grief. He 
was grieved because they hurt themselves. ltr\ rrj Trwpwo-ei rrjq 
Kaphias — at the hardness of their heart. The expression does not 
denote, as with us, the callousness of their feelings, but the unsus- 
ceptibility of their minds. They were hardened by previous con- 
ceptions against his new truth. The collocation of anger and 
sympathetic grief excited by the same act is significant of the 
nature of Christ's anger, showing how compatible it was with | 
goodwill. d.7reKaT€(TTd0r] 1 — it was restored. 

aireicaTeTT&dr) instead of airoKaTe<TTddT), Tisch. Treg. WH. N ABL etc. 
Omit aov after ttjp X eipa Tisch. (Treg.) WH. marg. BEMSUV T 102, 126, 
etc. Doubtful. Omit frynfcj is y &\\ v Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABC* D 
etc. mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr. etc. 

1 On the double augment, see Win. 12, 7 a. 

54 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 6, 7 

6. evOvs — The immediateness of this act is noted by Mk. only, 
and is quite characteristic of his style, hitting off a situation with 
a word. The immediateness is here a sign of the violence of the 
feeling excited against Jesus. To estimate their fanatical zeal, we 
must remember that they valued the Sabbath far beyond any mere 
morality, and reacted with corresponding violence against any sup- 
posed violation of its sacredness. Fanaticism is always busy and 
eager over the mere outworks of religion. 

ruiv 'H/awSiavwv — the Herodians. The adherents of Herod 
Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee. The Pharisees were zealous patriots, 
and as such were generally opposed to any foreign yoke. But 
here was an opportunity to use the foreign power against a com- 
mon enemy. The common opinion ascribed Messianic preten- 
sions to Jesus, and on more than one occasion attempted to force 
him to play the role according to the popular conception of the 
Messiah. This would be the argument by which the Pharisees 
excited the temporal power against him, as they did finally at 
Jerusalem. The preceding paragraphs have given us a view of 
Jesus in his work of undermining one after another of the Phari- 
saic positions, and this conspiracy is the natural result. 

(rv(x/3ov\t.ov iTroirjcrav (or eoYSow) * — they took counsel. 

iiroirja-av, instead of iirotovv, Tisch. n C A 238 etc. iSLdovp, Treg. WH. 
BL 13, 28, 69, etc. 


7-12. Jesus departs to the sea of Galilee, followed by a 
great multitude. 

The narrative of opposition is interrupted here, and we are 
introduced to a scene of another kind. The multitude about 
Jesus heretofore has been from Galilee, with a sprinkling of hos- 
tile Scribes and Pharisees (from Jerusalem?). But now we see it 
swelled by people from Judaea, and from the Gentile districts both 
north and south. It is an eager crowd, moreover, who fall upon 
him and threaten to crush him in their attempt to obtain his heal- 
ing touch, so that Jesus has to procure a boat to be in attendance 
on him. The meaning of it all is, that the period of conflict 
does not signify a loss of popularity, but rather that the great 
access of favor with the people swells the tide of opposition. 

7. dvexwp^o-ev — withdrew. The verb is used of such retire- 
ment from public view as would be natural in such a position of 

1 o-vju/SouAioe belongs to later Greek. 


danger as Jesus found himself in. Mt. uses the same verb, 12 15 . 
It does not seem probable, in these circumstances, that he would 
choose the part of the lake near to Capernaum which was the 
scene of his usual work, because it was a place of resort. This 
time, he was seeking retirement, and he would find it in some 
more secluded part of the lake. 

8. The last clause of v. 7 should be included in this verse. As 
it stands in the T.R., the first statement, with rjKoXovOrjacv as its 
verb, goes as far as irepav tov TopSavov ; the second, with yXOov as 
its verb, begins with ol nepl Tvpov. But with the omission of 01 
before irepl Tvpov, we can make the break where we please. Tisch. 
makes it at the end of v. 7 , transferring yKoXovOrjaev to the end of 
the verse. But this separates Judaea and Jerusalem in an unwar- 
rantable way. Most probably, the first statement is about Galilee, 
the district near at hand, and the second includes all the remote 
districts beginning with Judaea. Those from the neighboring 
Galilee are represented as following him, and those from the 
remote districts as coming to him. Read, And a great multitude 
from Galilee followed. And from Judcea, and from Jerusalem, 
andfro?n Idumtza, and beyond Jordan, and about Tyre and Sidon, 
a great multitude, hearing what things he is doing, came to him. 

r}Ko\ovdT)<rep, instead of 7}Ko\ovd-n<rav, Treg. WH. ABGL T etc. mss. of 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. r}Ko\ovdri<rav Tisch. n CEFK etc. mss. of Lat. Vet. This 
verb is transferred to the end of v. 7 after tt}s 'lovdalas by Tisch. WH. 
marg. N C A 238 Lat. Vet. Vulg. Placed after rrjs Tdkikaias by Treg. 
ABL T etc. Memph. Syrr. After 'lepo<ro\vp.o}p by WH. 235, 271. The 
separation of Judaea and Jerusalem caused by the transfer is clearly against 
it. Omit ayrcp after iiKoXovd-qaev Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCL Memph. 
etc. Omit ol before irepl Tvpov Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n * and c BCL A mss. 
of Lat. Vet. Pesh. etc. clkovovtcs instead of cucovo-avTes Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. n B A 1, 13, 69, etc. mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. iroiei, instead 
of iwoiei, Treg. WH. BL. Internally probable. 

Idumaea is the Greek name for Edom, a district situated E. of 
the Jordan, between Southern Palestine and Arabia. Tyre and 
Sidon were the two great cities of Syro-Phcenicia on the Mediter- 
ranean Sea, NW. of Galilee. 

9. aVe — he told, i.e. he gave orders. Trpoa-Kapreprj — should 
be in constant attendance. The verb expresses this idea of assidu- 
ous waiting. It was rendered necessary by the crowd, which was 
in danger of crushing him. 

10. wore €7ri7U7nrav avrw — so that they were falling upon him. 
Not in a hostile sense, but the verb is a strong word, like 7rpoo-- 
Kaprepr} and 0\i(3u)(nv, and is intended to bring before us vividly 
the turbulent eagerness and excitement of the crowd. ctywvTcu — 
touch him. They believed that there was some virtue in his touch, 
and that it made no difference whether he touched them, or they 
him. See 6 19 . /xaoriyas — scourges, a strong figurative term for 

56 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 11-14 

11. ra irvevfULTo. to. aKaOapra — The unclean spirits are here put 
by metonymy for the men possessed by them, because the action 
is directed by them, orav idewpovv 1 — whenever they beheld him. 

ideutpovv, Trpoa-iiriiTTOv, . . . cKpafrv, instead of the singular, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. n ABCDL etc. Xtyovres, instead of \tyovra, Tisch. WH. 
marg. n DK 6i, 69 etc. 

7rpoo-€7ri7TTov Kal 2*pa£ov — would fall down before him and cry 
out. The impf. denotes repeated action. "On av 2 — 6 vl6s rov 
® £o — the Son of God. This title was a Messianic title, denoting 
theocratic sonship, and there is nothing here to indicate that it is 
used in any other than this common sense. The onus probandi 
is not on those who deny the use of the term in the Synoptical 
Gospels, of metaphysical sonship, but on those who claim this use. 
Unless it was accompanied by language pointing out the meta- 
physical sonship, no Jew would have understood it. 


13-19. Jesus goes up into the mountain, and chooses the 

The appointment of the twelve is put in different connections 
in the Synoptics. But in them all, the connection is such as to 
point to the growth of our Lord's work as the occasion of the 
appointment. They are to aid him in his work of proclaiming 
the kingdom, and of healing. But after all, the other purpose 
named, the association with himself, is the one most in evidence 
in the subsequent history. 

13. to opo? — the mountain, i.e. the one in the neighborhood, 
ovs rj6e\ev avTos — whom he himself wished. The pronoun is 
emphatic, the form of the verb being enough to indicate the per- 
son. Those who came to Jesus at this time came not of their 
own accord, but in accordance with his desire. 

14. €7roir)o~e SwScko, — he appointed twelve. This use of the 
verb comes under the head of making one something, — king or 
priest, for instance. Only here, that to which they were appointed 
is expressed, not as an office, but as the purpose of the appoint- 
ment. This purpose is expressed under two heads, the first being 

1 orav eSeupow is a rare construction. Generally, orav is used with conditions 
belonging to the future, or with general conditions belonging to any time, and is 
construed with the subjunctive. The indefiniteness in the time of past conditions 
expressed in our -ever is denoted by -n-ore. 

2 On this use of on to introduce direct quotation, see on i*6. 


association with himself, and the second, to act as his messengers 
in the work of proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and of 
healing the sick. Apparently, the former was the only one fully 
carried out during our Lord's life, the second becoming their work 
when they were made necessarily independent of him by his 
death. And in accordance with this, the name generally given in 
the Gospels is disciples, and afterward, in the Acts and Epistles, 
they are called apostles. 

ovs Kal airo<TT6\ov% uv6fj.a^ep, whom he also named apostles, is inserted 
after iiroi-qa-e 5d)8eKa by WH. RV. marg. n BC* A 13, 28, 69, 124, 238, 346, 
Memph. Hard. marg. Tisch. thinks it has been copied from Lk. 6 13 . But 
on the whole, considering the strength of the testimony for it, it seems at 
least equally possible that Lk. found it in the original Mk. 

Krjpvo-o-eiv — to herald, or here, where it is used absolutely, to 
act as heralds. The word conveys the idea of authority, a herald 
being an official who makes public proclamation of weighty 
affairs. The proclamation which they were to make was the com- 
ing of the kingdom of God. 

15. e\eiv i£ovaiav iKfidWeiv — to have power to cast out. This 
is in the same construction as Krjpvo-aeiv, and denotes one of 
the objects of sending them forth. 

Omit depaireveiv tols p6<tovs, /cat, to heal diseases, and, Tisch. Treg. (Treg. 
marg.) WH. RV. n BC* L A 102 Memph. 

With this omission, the casting out of demons is taken as the 
representative miracle. So frequently. 1 

16. Kal iiridriKt. 

Kal iirolrjaev rods dAdeica, and he appointed the twelve, is inserted before 
koX HtQ-i\Kt by Tisch. WH. RV. marg. n BC* A. 

Kal iirWrjKc interrupts the structure of the sentence, which is 
resumed in the next verse. The names that follow are in apposi- 
tion with tovs SuiSeKa in the inserted clause, and the enumeration 
is interrupted to give the descriptive names assigned to some of 
them by Jesus. 

Utrpov — Peter. Mt. gives the only explanation of this name 
given to Simon, in ch. 16 : 18. But neither in this passage nor in 
that, is there any definite indication that it was at either time 
that the name was given him. J. i 42 , however, assigns the giving 
of the name to a time much earlier than either, immediately after 
the Baptism. TLlrpov means a rock. The masculine form, instead 
of Ilerpa, is due to its being appropriated as the name of a man. 

17. /cat 'IaKw^ov — This resumes the structure of v. 14 , as if v. 16 
read ^i/xcoya a> iTre6rjK€. 

Boavepyb. " This is a modified form of the Heb. tin ■•£». tin 
properly means tumult or uproar, of any kind, and thunder, as a 

1 See on i 89 . 

58 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 17, 18 

secondary meaning, is not improbable, though we have no example 
of it in Hebrew literature. The name probably describes a fiery, 
vehement temperament, rather than a thunderous eloquence, or a 
sonorous speech. The little that is told us about the disciples 
makes it impossible to follow out these hints about their character 
and temperament. These four, Peter, James and John, and 
Andrew, always stand first in these lists of the twelve, and among 
them, Peter is always first. Mt. calls him irpwros. But Mt. and 
Lk. put Andrew into the second place, evidently to associate him 
with his brother. Mk.'s order is the order of their rank, Peter, 
James, and John being the three disciples chosen by Jesus to 
attend him on special occasions, e.g. the Transfiguration, the rais- 
ing of the daughter of Jairus, and the scene in the garden of 

18. &L\nnrov — Philip heads the second group in all the Gos- 
pels, as Peter the first. The name is a Greek name. We hear 
nothing more about him in the Synoptics, though he is mentioned 
several times in the fourth Gospel. 

BapOo\ofjL(uov — This name does not occur in the Gospels out- 
side of these lists, and elsewhere only in Acts i 13 . And in the 
passage in Acts, Bartholomew's name is associated, as it is here, 
with those of Philip and Thomas. In the fourth Gospel, on the 
other hand, we find that Nathanael is associated with Philip and 
Thomas, as Bartholomew is in the Synoptics and the Acts. In J. 
i 46 " 50 , Nathanael is the one whom Philip introduces to Jesus, while 
in J. 2 1 2 , Nathanael's name is associated with Thomas. This, 
together with the fact that so important a personage as Nathanael 
appears to be in J. is not mentioned in the list of the twelve, has 
led to the quite reasonable supposition that the two are to be 
identified. In that case, Bartholomew, which means Son of 
Tolmai, would be a patronymic, and Nathanael would be the real 

MaOOalov — On the identification of this disciple with Levi the 
publican, see on 2 14 . He is not mentioned after this, except in 
Acts i 13 . ®o)fxav — This disciple, who is a mere name in the 
Synoptics and the Acts, becomes a personage in the fourth Gos- 
pel. J. ii 16 14 5 20 24 " 28 . This group of four is the same in all 
three Synoptics, but in Mt., Thomas precedes Matthew. 

'IaKo>/?ov tov tov 'A\<pa.Lov — This James is probably the same as 
'Iaxw/Jos 6 /xt*cpo?, James the little, the son of Mary and Clopas. 
See 15 40 16 1 J. 1 9 s5 . The supposition, however, that in this pas- 
sage from J., Mapia 7) tov KAco7ra is in apposition with 17 prJTrjp 
avrov, and that thus the brothers of our Lord were his cousins 
and included in the list of apostles, is decisively negatived, first, 
by its giving us two sisters having the same name, Mary ; secondly, 
by the fact, that in Lk. 2", Jesus is called the firstborn son of 
Mary, implying that there were other sons ; thirdly, by Acts i 14 , 


in which the brothers of our Lord are distinguished from the apos- 
tles; and finally, by J. f which states distinctly, that at the Feast 
of Tabernacles, six months before the death of Jesus, his brothers 
did not believe in him. 

©aSScuov — This must be the same as Lebbaeus, Mt. io 3 , and 
Jude the son of James, Lk. 6 16 . 

rbv Kavavcuov — the Zealot. 

Kavavaiov, instead of Kavavlrrjv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCDL A 33, 
Latt. Memph. (Pesh.) etc. 

If this name meant an inhabitant of Cana, it would be Karaiov. 
Probably, it comes from the Heb. K3[3, Chald. (K3|5, with the termi- 
nation atos which denotes a party (<J>a/oio-cuos, 2aSSov Kotos) , and is 
the same as Z^AwTr;? zealot, the name given to him in Lk. 6 15 . 
This was the name of a party of fanatic nationalists among the 
Jews, leaders of the national revolt against the foreign yoke. 

19. 'lo-KapnoTrjv — Heb., ninp £"K Man of Kerioth. Judas is 
designated thus as an inhabitant of Kerioth, a village of Judaea. 
7ra/3€6Wev — delivered up. The word for betrayal is 7rpo€oWev. 

There can be no doubt what significance Mk. means to give to 
the appointment of the twelve. It is preceded and followed in 
his account by the gathering of the importunate crowds about our 
Lord. And the connection points plainly to the conclusion that 
Jesus appoints them to be his helpers in the work thus growing on 
his hands. This is indicated in the purpose, that he may send 
them forth to preach, and to heal; that is, to share in the work 
which has been described before as done by him. 1 But we do 
not find that much of this active work was done by them during 
Jesus' lifetime. The purpose which was more fully carried out 
was that of permanent association with himself, expressed in the 
words, that they may be with him. Instead of the fluctuating 
attendance on his person of the ordinary disciples, he desired for 
these twelve such constant association that they could afterwards 
be his witnesses, and carry forward his work. Mt. 9 s5 - io 4 gives 
the same general reason, but the immediate occasion is a mission- 
ary tour made by Jesus through Galilee, in which he is impressed 
by the greatness of the spiritual harvest, and the small number 
of laborers. Lk. 6 17 " 19 places the concourse of people after the 
appointment of the twelve. The inclusion of Judas in the num- 
ber of the apostles is a certain indication that he was at the time 

1 See 1**. 

60 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 20-35 

a genuine disciple. In his case, as in that of all the apostles, 
there was a failure to understand our Lord's purely spiritual pro- 
gramme, but the personal equation, the faith in Christ himself, 
overcame this doubt at first. Later, the doubt predominated in 
the case of Judas, and even in the rest of the apostles it led to 
the temporary desertion of the ten, and to the denial of Peter. 


20-35. Jesus, at home again, is met by the opposition 
of the Scribes, and by the attempt on the part of his 
family to restrain him. 

It is evident that there is both a logical and a chronological 
relation between this attitude of our Lord's family and this new 
phase of the opposition of the Scribes. The logical relation is 
found in the language of the two. His family said, he is beside 
himself; the Scribes said, he is possessed by the devil himself. 
The close juxtaposition of these in the narrative shows that Mk. 
had this logical relation in his mind. On the other hand, the 
interruption of the story of his family's attempt to restrain him by 
the introduction of the other account, and the resumption of the 
former in v. 31 , is not explained so well by any other assumption 
as that there was really such an interval between the family's 
original purpose and their arrival on the scene of action, which 
was filled up by the controversy with the Scribes. Jesus makes 
this opposition the occasion of teaching, of which it is easy to 
miss the point, and which has been badly misunderstood. In 
regard to the charge that he is in collusion with Satan in casting 
out demons, his point fully stated would be, that such collusion is 
possible up to the point where it involves an actual arraying of 
Satan against himself. And Jesus turns their charge against them- 
selves by his counter-claim that his whole action is hostile to 
Satan, making such collusion impossible. And this is the acumen 
of his statement about the sin against the Holy Ghost. In the 
case of the Scribes, their charge had been very close to that sin, 
when they said that the Spirit in Jesus was the Devil instead of 
the Holy Spirit, involving a complete upsetting of all moral values, 
and a stupendous and well-nigh irrecoverable moral blindness in 


themselves. That is, their whole error lay in their failure to value 
the moral element in Jesus' works. It is not implied at all that 
his family was in sympathy with the Scribes, their apprehension 
being simply that his mind was unsettled, and that he needed to 
be put under restraint. This lack of sympathy with him on the 
part of his human family led Jesus to point out the higher reality 
of spiritual relationship and association. 

20. €?px eTat — comes, els olkov is here probably the colloquial 
anarthrous phrase, equivalent to our home. The gathering of the 
Scribes from Jerusalem and the visit of his family would probably 
both of them be at Capernaum, and this points to his own house 
as the one meant here, RV. margin. 

epxcrcu instead of epxovrat, Tisch. WH. RV. kBT mss. of Lat. Vet. etc. 

Kat oWpx €Tat ira^w (6) oyXos — And {the) crowd gathers again. 

6 before 6x\os Tr. (WH.) RV. k ABDL corr - A 209, 300, Memph. edd . 
The article is rather favored by Mk.'s habit of correlating persons and 
things with previous mentions of the same in his account. 

7raA.1v — again. This refers to 2 12 , and denotes a repetition of 
what occurred then in the same place, fir) 8wao-0ai firjhk — not 
able even. 

/irjSe, instead of ^re, Treg. WH. RV. ABKLU A 28, 33 etc. 

ware fir). 1 

21. of -n-ap* avTov — his family, v. 31 , which is evidently a resump- 
tion of this part of the narrative, says his mother and his brothers. 
Literally, this phrase would denote those descended from him, but 
it has come to have this modification of its strict meaning. 
Kparrja-ai — to lay hold of him, to get possession of him. They 
wanted to protect Jesus against his own madness. For they said 
that he is beside himself, iiiarr}. 2 aKovo-avres has for its object the 
preceding statement. Jesus' permitting the multitude to gather 
about him in this tumultuous way and to engross him so entirely, 
seemed to them an unwarranted absorption in an entirely visionary 
work. This absence of prudence and of care of himself seemed 
to them misplaced. 

Weiss, with some show of reason, makes the subject of e\e7oi' the persons 
from whom the family received their account. But the more natural sub- 
ject is the same as that of £%7j\dov, unless a different one is pointed out. 
And it is just as probable that the family inferred the i^ar-q from what they 
heard, as that it made a part of the report. 

1 Where the inf. is used with /.io-re, the N.T. invariably employs the neg. fir), even 
when the result is stated as a fact. See Win. 55, 2 d. 2 See on a**. 

62 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 22 

Kat ol ypa/x/xaTCts ol airo 'lepoaoXvfJLUv Kara/3dvT€<s — And the 
Scribes who came down from Jerusalem. 

This delegation is introduced here with the article, as if it had been 
mentioned before. But the article may be taken as meaning the Scribes 
who were present, and ol KarafidpTes as an incidental statement of the 
reason of their presence. This slight change of meaning would be indi- 
cated by a comma, — and the Scribes, who came down from Jerusalem. 

22. KaraySavrcs — It was down from Jerusalem, which was 
situated on high land, to most other parts of the country. This is 
the first mention of the presence of Scribes from Jerusalem, and 
it is an indication of an increased activity and hostility of the 
religious leaders against Jesus. 

BecA^e/JouA. !x« — he has Beelzebul. This is a modification of 
a Heb. name, and is one of their names for Satan. 1 One is said 
to have a demon, or here, the prince of demons, as he is said to 
have a disease, that is, to be afflicted with it. 

The particular form of this charge, that he is possessed, not 
with an ordinary demon, but with the devil himself, is in order to 
account for his power over demons, as representing their prince. 
But we may suppose that they took a malicious pleasure in making 
his an exaggerated case. lv t<5 apxovrt twv oai/xovcW — in the 
prince of the de??ions. The preposition has the same force as in 
the phrases in Christ, in the Holy Spirit. It is a local designation 
of intimate union, as if the two were so absorbed in each other, 
that they dwelt, one in the other. The charge is, that Jesus cast 
out demons by virtue of this connection with their prince. It is 
not merely an attempt to explain these miracles, so as to do away 
with the effect of them, but a distinct charge on the strength of 
them. They said, this man is in collusion with the devil. It is 
evident all through his course, but this assumed miracle is distinct 
proof of it. How else does this insignificant person coming among 
us without any credentials, get this extraordinary power over 
demons, unless there is some connection between him and their 
ruler. The devil has power to order them round, and has author- 
ized this man to act for him, and so further the dangerous delusion 
about himself which is spreading among the people. There is no 
connection between the attitude of the religious leaders, and of 
Jesus' own family here. Rather, the hostility of the Scribes was 
one of the dangers of the situation, to which Jesus himself seemed 
rashly indifferent, and which led his family to seek to restrain him. 

M t# I2 22 -23 and Lk. n 14 give us a more immediate occasion for this 
charge in their account of the casting out of a demon at this time. In this 
Gospel, the connection is general, the charge being occasioned by Jesus' 
frequent performance of this most prominent of all his miracles. 

' The Heb. is Vut h%2, talT being a rabbinical form of 73J, The whole means 
god of jilt h. 


23. iv 7rapaf3o\cu<; — A parable is an analogy. It assumes a 
likeness between higher and lower things, such that what is true 
in one department holds good in another. It serves the purpose 
not only of illustration and of figurative statement, but also of 
proof. Here the apologetic purpose is evident. The analogy 
may be drawn out into a story, or description, as in most of Jesus' 
parables, but this is not essential. In this case, Jesus begins with 
an abstract statement of his position, and then gives several 
analogous cases proving the general principle. 

Saravas SaTava iK/3d\\ew — Satan is the Heb. name of the 
aevil, the prince of the demons. It means the Adversary, and 
except in this passage, and Lk. 22 s , the name is written with the 
article. 1 Jesus shows the fallacy of the scribes' position by call- 
ing their attention to one essential element in his casting out of 
demons, which makes it impossible to account for it in their way. 
And that is, that his action toward the demons is hostile action. 
To be sure, his ordering them round, in itself considered, may 
be merely an exercise of the power which their ruler exercises 
over them. But when his authority is exercised, not for them, but 
against them, and against everything for which they and their 
ruler stand, he must be representing, not some friendly power, 
but a distinctly hostile force. They are so identified with their 
ruler, that what he does to them he does virtually to himself, and 
he does not cast himself out from one of his principal vantage 
points, possessing a special strategic value for his cause. 

24. koll £av /ScurtAda £<f> iavrrjv fjLepLcrOr) — And if a kingdom is 
divided against itself. This is the analogy which lies nearest at 
hand. Indeed, it may be called the generic statement of the pre- 
ceding principle. Satan and his subjects constitute a kingdom, 
and what is true of any kingdom is applicable to them. There is 
no difference between human kingdoms and this kingdom of evil 
spirits, which would invalidate this common truth. In the form in 
which this analogy is stated, it contains the reason why it is 
morally impossible for Satan to cast out Satan. It is, that such 
division leads to destruction. The condition is here a general 
one, not confined to any time. 

25. The second analogy is that of a house. The word is used 
by metonymy for the family inhabiting a house. Here, too, divis- 
ion ends in destruction, ov Sw^a-erai — will not be able. The 
form of the conditional statement in this case belongs to the 
future, and not to a general condition. 

ffi/wjo-ercu, instead of dtparcu, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. k BCL A mss. of 
i^at. Vet. and of Vulg. Stvarai is an evident emendation, to correspond to 

1 See on 1™. 

64 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 26, 27 

26. Kttt ct 6 ^aravas avi(rrrj i<f>' eavrov, ifj.€pi<r0r) /cat ov Bvvarat 
arrival — And if Satan arose against himself, he was divided and 
cannot stand} 

e/xepia-di}, kou instead of teal p.ep.4pio-rai, Tisch. N* C* A mss. of Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. Kal ifiepicrdr} Treg. marg. WH. RV. N c BL. koX ifxepivdr] is a probable 
emendation to bring the aorists avicrrtj and efxepiadt] together, instead of 
ifiepiadr] and the pres. ov dvvarai. <rrrjvai, instead of aradrjvai, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. n BCL. 

This verse applies the principle to the case in hand, and the 
form of conditional statement corresponds. It states the condi- 
tion as belonging to past time, and says of an event actually past, 
if it was of such a character. In the conclusion, the aor. states 
what was involved, the pres. what is involved. 

27. ov Swarai ovSeis ets rrjv olklclv tov ia)(ypov elcrc\6u>v to. (TKVorj 
avrov hiapirao-ai — no one can enter into the strong man's house , 
and plunder his tools. 

et's tt]i> oUiav tov IcxupoO eicreXduv ra aKevij avrov, instead of t& aicevTj 
rod iaxvpov elaeXdcbv d$ rrjv oUiav avrov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCL A 
33, 102, Memph. Pesh. 

In what precedes, Jesus has simply taken the negative attitude 
towards their charge that he is in collusion with Satan, showing 
that that is impossible. But in this verse he shows what is the real 
relation to Satan involved in his casting out demons. What it 
does mean is conflict with Satan, and victory over him. This 
also is stated in the form of an analogy, that no one can enter a 
strong man's house, and despoil his tools, except he first bind the 
strong man. o-kcvtj is here not possessions or goods, but utensils, 
and denotes the demons as Satan's instruments, or tools. What 
Jesus says is not simply an inference from his casting out of 
demons, though that is the proof of it to others. But this victory 
over Satan is a part of his self-consciousness. He knows that he 
has met Satan here on his own stamping ground, where he has 
been accustomed to take advantage of the weakness of men for 
their undoing ; moreover, that Satan has approached him on this 
same side of his human weakness, and for once, has met his mas- 
ter. Instead of mastering, he has been himself mastered, and the 
mastery has been followed up by crippling ; he has been bound. 
Here we come upon one of the deepest truths of Jesus' life, that 
the real basis of his power, which is a spiritual power, is to be 
found in his own righteousness under difficulties, and those diffi- 
culties the same which are inherent in human nature, and due to 
the exposure of that nature to a subtle and victorious power of 
evil which had so far dominated the world. 

1 ave'ori) and efi.ep«r077 are aorist, and it preserves the flavor of the original better 
to translate them as simple pasts, arose, and was divided, instead of perfects. 


28. 'A/i^v — Verily} This has the effect of solemn emphasis. 
iraivTa acfreBrjcreTai . . . ra afxapr^fxara — all sins shall be forgiven. 
The statement that all the sins of men shall be forgiven is not to 
be taken of individual sins, but of classes, or kinds of sin. at 
(3Xaacf>r]ixiaL — the blasphemies. This word means primarily injuri* 
ous speech, and, as applied to God, speech derogatory to his Divine 
majesty. 6Va av j3\ao-<f>r]ixr}o-<i)o-iv — Literally, whatsoever things 
they blasphemously utter? 

ai before pXcurfrifilat Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCEFGHL A Memph. 
etc. 6<ra, instead of tfcras, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDE * GH A etc. 

Blasphemy is not here regarded as that into which all sins may 
be resolved, 3 but it adds to the general term sins, the special class 
to which the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit belongs. 

29. eh to YLvevfxa to "kytov — against the Holy Spirit} What is 
meant by the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? The difficulty 
on one side, has been the consideration of this question without 
reference to the case in hand, and on the other hand, so superfi- 
cial an explanation of this case as to leave what Jesus says about 
the enormity of the sin involved practically unexplained. Plainly, 
the Holy Spirit is not to be considered here in his independent 
action, but as the inward source of Jesus' acts. What Jesus says 
is occasioned by their charge that he had an evil spirit ; that is, 
that the power acting in him was not good, but bad. Now, the 
Holy Spirit is the Divine power to which the acts of Jesus are 
attributed. The Spirit is represented as descending on him at his 
baptism, and driving him into the wilderness, and Jesus is said to 
have begun his ministry in Galilee in the power of the Spirit. 
Especially, Jesus ascribes his expulsion of evil spirits to the Holy 
Spirit. Hence, a distinction is to be made between his other acts, 
and those which manifestly reveal the Holy Spirit in him, and 
between slander directed against him personally, as he appears in 
his common acts, and that which is aimed at those acts in which 
the Spirit is manifest. Just so far as there is in the man who 
utters the slander any recognition, however vague, of this agency, 
or so far as there is in the person against whom it is directed so 
manifest a revelation of the Spirit as should lead to this recogni- 
tion, so far, there is danger, to say the least, of this blasphemy 

1 'A/u.rjv is the Heb. particle of affirmation from JDK, to be firm, sure. Its proper 
place is at the end of the sentence, and disconnected with it, like our Amen. This 
adverbial use of it, placed at the beginning of the sentence, belongs to the report 
of our Lord's discourses in the Gospels. Elsewhere in the N.T. it is used after 
the Heb. fashion. 

2 oo-a is the cognate ace. after /3Aao-</)»)Mi7o-(oo-iv, and independent of both /3;w£tj' 
Mi'ai and aiJ.apTniJ.aT a. See Col. 3 14 , where o is used in the same way. 

3 See Morison's singular note. 

4 In this use of a preposition after p\a<T<p-nfirjtTn, there is a return to the earlier 
construction, for which the N.T. employs the simple ace. 


66 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 29-31 

against the Holy Spirit. Moreover, this act of driving out evil 
spirits was the act in which the holiness of the Spirit operating in 
Jesus specially appeared. It is not in the power shown in the 
miracles that the operation of the Holy Spirit is most evident, 
but in their moral quality. There is the mc»ral^_uniqueness about 
the miracles of Jesus which appears in the rest oTKfsTife, only 
there, it is, if anything, most conspicuous. And this quality 
appears specially where he not only cures the bodily diseases of 
men, but frees them from an evil spirit which deranges their inner 
life. To call that evil, instead of good, and especially to ascribe 
it to the very prince of evil, is the blasphemy against the Holy 
Spirit. The only alleviation of it is the failure to recognize fully 
these facts, ovk tx" atfteanv as tov aluva — hath never forgive- 
ness} aXXa Ivo^os ianv aloiviov dp.apTrjp.aTOs — but is guilty of an 
eternal sin. 

diJ.apTriiia.Tos, instead of Kpiaews, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BL A 28, 33 
(C* D 13, 69, 346, d/xaprias), Latt. Memph. 

An eternal sin may be one subjecting the person to an eternal 
punishment, eternal in its consequences, that is. 2 But certainly it 
is equally allowable to suppose that it describes the sin itself as 
eternal, accounting for the impossibility of the forgiveness by the 
permanence of the sin, — endless consequences attached to end- 
less sin. This is the philosophy of endless punishment. Sin 
reacts on the nature, an act passes into a state, and the state 
continues. That is, eternal punishment is not a measure of 
God's resentment against a single sin, which is so enormous 
that the resentment never abates. It is the result of the effect of 
any sin, or course of sin in fixing the sinful state beyond recovery. 
This is more accordant with the inwardness of Jesus' ordinary 
view of things. 

30. Trvevfxa aKaOaprov cx« — he has an unclean spirit. The report 
of their saying above is, he hath Beelzebul, and it is changed here 
in order to make the contrast between irvtv^a aKaOaprov and Uvev/xa 
"Aytov, the Holy Spirit. 

31. kcu cpx ovrat V r L V Tr IP avTOV KaL ot adeAcpoi avrov, kcu ego) 
(TTrJKovTes . . . KctAouvTcs olvt6v — and there came his mother and 
his brothers, and standing outside . . . calling him. 

Kcu ipx(ovTaC), instead of "EpxovTai ol<v, Treg. WH. RV. (Tisch. Kcu 
epxerai) x BCDGL A 1, 13, 28, 69, 118, 124, 209, Latt. Memph. Pesh. etc. 
i] p-fiT-qp airov Kal oi dde\(pol avrov, instead of oi dde\(pol Kal 77 firi T VP avrov, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDGL A Latt. Memph. Pesh. ar-fiKovres, instead 
of eo-rwres, Tisch. Treg. WH. BC A 28. naXovvres, instead of (puvovvres, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCL 1, 13, 28, 69, 118, 124, etc. 

1 Literally, hath not forgiveness forever. The Heb. form of the universal nega- 
tive, joining the negative with the verb, instead of with the adverb. 

2 So Meyer, Weiss, Holtzmann, etc. 


Though the resumptive ovv is omitted, it is plain that this is a 
resumption of what is said about his family coming out to restrain 
him in v. 21 . The preliminary statement is put there, in order to 
connect i£rj\6ov with its cause in the tumultuous gathering of the 
people. Then it is interrupted by the story of the dispute with 
the Scribes, because that event precedes in the order of time. It 
is this unsympathetic attitude of his family in this visit which gives 
force to what Jesus says about his true family. On the brothers 
of Jesus, see on v. 18 . a8e\<pot is used sometimes to denote less 
intimate relationship, but it is not at all common, and aside from 
usage, the supposition that the aSeXcpol of Jesus were anything else 
than brothers is quite against the evidence. The names of these 
brothers are given in Mt. 13 55 as James, Joseph, Simeon, and Jude. 
Kal 2£a) a-TrJKovT&s — and standing outside. Evidently on account 
of the crowd surrounding the house. 1 

32. 7repl avTov — around him.' Kal Xiyovaiv airy — and they 
say to him. 

koX \tyov(rtv, instead of eiirov 5£, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCDL A 13, 
69, 124, 346, mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. Hard. marg. 

rj fJ-rjrrjp crov Kal 01 a$c\<po£ o-ou Kal at dSeA<£cu crou — thy mother, 
and thy brothers, and thy sisters. 

koX aX d8e\(pal <rov —Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. marg. ADEFHMSUV Y 
22, 124, 238, 299, 433, mss. of Lat. Vet. Harcl. marg. Omitted probably 
to accord with v. 33 - ^, and with Mt. and Lk. 

33. Kal d-rroKpiOeU 3 Ac'yei — And answering, he says. 

airoicpidels A^yet, instead of aireKpidrj, Xtywv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n 
BCL A Vulg. Memph. Harcl. Kal ol &8e\<poL fxov, and my brothers, instead of 
r), or, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCGL A 1, mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

Jesus does not wish, in this question, to deny or underrate the 
human relations. But he feels with a strength, not common among 
men, the Divine relation and the human relations to which this 
gives rise. Moreover, the present errand of his family has made 
him feel that they come short of the real connection which alone 
gives worth to the family relation. 

34. tov<s 7repl avrov KaQrjpivovs — those seated around him. v. 32 
has stated that the crowd was seated about him. But evidently 
from what follows, this was made up in this case of his disciples. 

35. tov ©eov — Mt. 1 2°° says tov irarpos p:ov tov iv ovpavw, which 
defines more closely the nature and reason of this relation. It is 
a common relation to the heavenly Father, and not to an earthly 

1 See v.2o, and especially Lk. 819. 

2 With the ace, nepi is used locally, with the gen., of subject matter —around a 
person or thing, and about a. subject. 

3 The Greeks used the middle, instead of the pass, of in-o/cpiVw, in the sense of 
answer. This use is peculiar to N.T. Greek. 

68 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [ill. 35-IV. 

father, that is at the basis of the kinship acknowledged by him. 
Moreover, the relation to God is of the moral kind, shown by doing 
His will. It is due to a new nature begotten in the man by God, 
but it shows itself in obedience. Jesus' own relation to God, 
making it his meat and drink to do his will, is the uppermost and 
central thing in his life, and those who share with him this relation 
come nearest to him. Spiritual kinship surpasses the accidents of 

os av 7roLyjar) — whoever does. 

Omit yap, for, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. B mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. yap is 
an emendation. Omit /xov, my, after a8e\<ptf Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. s ABD 
L A mss. of Lat. Vet. 

The order of Mk. here, connecting this paragraph with the teaching in 
parables which follows, is also the order of Mt., and the latter marks this as 
a chronological order by the use of ert avrov \a\ovvros, 12 46 , and iv rfj tKelvy 
i]p.{pa, 13 1 . On the other hand, Lk. II 87 connects this attack of the Phari- 
sees with Jesus' denunciation of them by another definite chronological 
mark, kv 5e rep XaXrjsat.. And Mt. puts this denunciation among the events of 
the passion week, and fixes it there by his introductory T6re. This is a spec- 
imen of the disagreement of the Evangelists in their attempts to give chro- 
nological sequence to their narratives. Dr. Gardiner, Harmony, p. 70, 
explains this by the supposition that such expressions as en avrov \a\ovvros 
and ii> rip \a\i)<rai may be used by the Evangelist to indicate that an event 
took place, not necessarily in the midst of that particular discourse, but 
simply of some discourse or other; that is, while he was talking, instead of 
walking, or healing or something. This is a good example of the ingenui- 
ties and curiosities of harmonizing interpretation. Such use of language 
by the Evangelists would discredit them equally with the inconsistencies 
that it is intended to remove. 


IV. With one exception, the prophetic discourse of ch. 13, 
the parables are the only connected discourse in Mk. And it is 
the only specimen of teaching without any statement of the cir- 
cumstances in which it originated. Indeed, it follows from what 
Jesus says about the object of his teaching in parables, that it 
would be without any such ground in events or questions, as would 
furnish a key to the meaning of the parable. Like all our Lord's 
teaching, it grew out of the conditions of the time, but the con- 
nection is not indicated, except as one reads the riddle of the 
parable itself. And in this way, it serves his purpose of veiling 
the truth, except to the initiated. But when one understands the 
fxvarypiov, the secret of the kingdom, the occasion is obvious. 
That secret, not known at the time by any one but Jesus, and not 
to be communicated to outsiders, was that the kingdom is a seed 


which grows, and not an authority to be externally set up and 
enforced. The occasion is thus the hindrances to the work of 
Jesus, the opposition of the rulers, the dulness and superficiality 
of the multitude, and the question even of the disciples, why he 
does not brush these obstacles away and set up the Messianic 


1-9. Jesus comes again to the shore of the lake, where 
he is followed by the usual multitude, whom he teaches 
from a boat in parables. 

1. 7raA.1v — again connects this with the events by the shore of 
the lake, 3 7 sq. ; cf. 2 13 I 16 , kcu a-vvayerat rrpos avrov 6)(\os 7rAeicrT05 
— and there gathers to him a very great multitude. 

avvdyerai, instead of cvvqx^i Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 13, 28, 
69, 124. rrXeio-Tos instead of iro\vs, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. M BCL A. 

The great multitude repeats the scene of the previous gathering 
at the shore of the lake, and the boat is apparently the boat which 
he ordered the disciples to have in readiness for him at that 
time, 3 7,9 . 

els t\oiov ifx^dura (omit r6), having entered a boat, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. m BCKLM 1, 33, 118, 131, 209 etc. 

irpos rrjv Oakacraav £7rt rrjs yijs r)<jav — were towards the sea upon 
the land} 

7}cra.v, instead of rjv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 33, mss. of Lat. Vet. 

Lk. 8 1-4 gives a different setting to the parable. According to 
him, it was spoken during a journey in the cities and villages of 

2. coYSao-zcev — he was teaching. The impf. describes the act in 
its progress, iv TrapafioXals — in parables? Here we have the 
parable drawn out into a story, iv rrj hihaxfj avrov — in his teach- 
ing. The word denotes the act of teaching, not the doctrine, or 
thing taught. aKovere — hear, or listen. It calls attention to what 
follows, after a manner common to our Lord. 

3. 6 (nreipuiv — the sower, not a sower? 

1 Mt. gives the same mark of the size of the multitude in this case. But it is 
one of the characteristic marks of this Gospel to emphasize the crowds that fol- 
lowed Jesus by some graphic touch. See i^ 2 2 $■ 2°. 

2 See s 23 , note. 

3 This is the generic use of the article, an individual being taken to represent 
the class. See Win. 18, 1. 


4. o //.ei> — some, cnripfxa, seed is understood. 1 irapa rrjv 686v — 
by the side of the road. We are not to think here of a wide road, 
with a fence or wall separating it from the field, but of a path 
traversing the unenclosed fields. The unproductiveness is due of 
course to the hardness of the trodden soil. Jesus adds that the 
birds devoured the seed, and this is due to its lying on the surface 
without penetrating it. 

Omit rod ovpavov, of heaven, after rd iriruva, the birds, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. n ABCL A mss. of Lat. Vet. and of Vulg. etc. 

5. Kat aAAo — and other? 

koX tfXXo, instead of dXXo W, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC(D)L A two 
mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. etc. 

to 7T€Tptu8cs — the rocky ground, not stony. A place where the 
rock came up near the surface, leaving room for only thin soil 
overlying it, is meant. 

kolI ev6vs e^ttveVetXc — and it came up hmnediately. The thin 
soil had two effects ; first, the grain came up quickly, because it 
lay near the surface, and was more exposed to the generous 
influence of the sun and rain ; and secondly, it was scorched and 
withered by the sun, because there was no room for the roots to 

6. Kat ore 6 17A10S dveVetAev — and when the sun arose. 

This reading, instead of 7)\lov U avardXaPTOs, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N 
BCDL A mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

iKavfxaTLO-Orj — was scorched. 3 

7. eh to\9 aKdvOas — i.e. among the seeds of thorns or briers, 
which afterwards came up, avip-qvav, and choked the grain. 

8. Kat aAAa — and others; o-Trepfxara is understood, the word 
being taken individually, instead of collectively, as in the other 
parts of the parable. 

&\\a, others, instead of otXXo, other, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. N* andcb 
BCL 28, 33, 124, one ms. of Lat. Vet. Memph. etc. 

i$i8ov Kap-n-ov — gave fruit. Probably, in this case, as in v. 7 , 
this means the grain itself, and not the stalks, but in this case, the 
participles avafiatvovTa and av^dvovra must agree with <xA\a, and 
not with Kapirbv. The reading av^avofxevov favored by T Tr. forces 
the agreement with Kapirov. That of WH. RV. av£avop,eva, forces 
the agreement with aAAa. The internal evidence thus confirms the 
latter reading ; cf. Kap-rrocpopovo-Lv v. 20 . 

a^avdfMepov, instead of avtdvovra, Tisch. Treg. ACDL A 238. av^avb^va 
WH. RV. n B. 

1 On this use of the relative in antithetical statements, see Win. 17, 1 b. 

2 The proper correlative of '6 nkv is S 5e. 3 This verb belongs to later Greek. 


cis rpLOLKovra — up to thirty, denoting the degree of fruitfulness. 

els rpidKovra, instead of iv rpi&KovTa, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 
28 etc. els e£T)KovTa, and els Zkcltov Tisch. Treg. WH. marg. RV. n C* A 
28 etc. ev with the last two WH. BLEFGKMUV II etc. 

9. Kcu eXeyev, os €\ a ^ Ta a*°u«v, aKoveVo) — And he said, He 
who hath ears to hear, let him hear. This is a familiar expression 
of our Lord's used by him to call attention to what is especially 
worth hearing. Ye who have ears, prepare to use them ?iow. 

Omit avrocs, to them, after tkeyev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDL A 
Latt. Memph. Syrr. etc. 6s ex et > instead of 6 ex a "'» Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
nBC*D A. 

10-25. Explanatioii of the parable. 

10. Kal ore eyeVcro Kara /xoras 1 — And when he came to be alone, 
i.e. after the departure of the crowd, which, however, followed 
probably the telling of the other parables. This is certainly so, if 
we adopt the reading ras TrapafioXds at the end of the verse. 

ot 7rept avrov — The disciples generally, as distinguished from the 
multitude on the one hand, and the twelve on the other. Dis- 
ciples, because he separates them from those outside, as those to 
whom the mystery of the kingdom is entrusted. Ta? 7rapa(3o\d<s — 
the parables uttered by him on this occasion, including those 
following the explanation of the Parable of the Sower. 

Kal 6're, instead of "Ore 5£, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCDL A Latt. 
Memph. etc. ripwruv, instead of ■fjpibT-qa-av, Treg. WH. RV. ABL A 33. 
ripdrovv, Tisch. n C. ras irapafioXas, instead of Sing., Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. n BCL A one ms. of Lat. Vet. mss. of Vulg. Memph. some edd. 

11. 'Yfuv SeSorai to fxvcTTrjpLov — To you has been given the 
mystery. The mystery has been put into your hands. 

Omit yvQvcu, to knotu, after Sudoral, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCKL 
one ms. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. some edd. etc. 

A mystery in the N.T. is not something hard to understand, 
but something hidden, revealed only to the initiated, like the 
Greek mysteries. The secret of the Kingdom of God set forth in 
these parables is the fact of its only partial success in this early 
stage. This fact seemed to those outside, not possessed of the 
secret of the kingdom, to be inconsistent with its nature as a 
heavenly kingdom. They thought, when God really set out to 
establish his Kingdom, its success would be speedy and sure. 
Supernatural powers would supersede natural processes, and every- 
thing would yield to them. The mystery, the hidden thing, set 

1 The separation of KaTa/xdva? into Kara nova? is simply a matter of interpreta- 
tion. x">P a * i s t0 De supplied with M dj/as. 

72 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IV. 11, 12 

forth by Jesus, in this group of parables, is that the kingdom 
belongs to living, growing things, and is subject thus to the 
same laws as grain, leaven, mustard seed, and the like. Gradual- 
ness therefore belongs to its nature. 

cKeivots Se rots e£<i> — to those outsiders. The EV. translates 
rots e£w by them who are without. And we need to add some- 
thing to this to indicate the presence of the demonstrative. This 
can be done by emphasizing the word them {those), or by trans- 
lating rots e£w outsiders. Jesus has in mind probably the multi- 
tude just gone from them, whom he points out in Ikuvols, and 
describes by tols e£w ; cf. Mt. 13 11 , where e/ceiWs alone is used. 
The connection with r. /foo-iAcw; r. ®eov in the preceding clause 
indicates that it is the kingdom of God outside of which he places 
them. Those inside the kingdom know its secrets, those outside 
do not know them. to. navTa — all things. It is denned by the 
context as all things pertaining to the mystery of the kingdom. 

lv 7rapaf3o\al<; — in parables. Instead of being stated in terms 
belonging to itself, the mystery of the kingdom is so stated in 
terms belonging to another realm, as to veil it. The parable, i.e. 
by itself, without its key. If the truth is stated first abstractly, 
and then in terms of the analogy, the two help to the understand- 
ing of each other by showing that the phenomenon is not special, 
but common, a general fact belonging to the related realms of 
matter and spirit. But without this key, the parable remains a 
riddle, which is one of its meanings. 

12. lv(x /SAeVovre? /?A.€7ru)cn, ko.1 /xyj t'Swo-i — in order that seeing, 
they may see, and not perceive. It is evident that i,'6Wi expresses 
a more inward and real sight than /^AeVoio-t. The idea is expressed 
thus, in order that in the act of seeing, there may be merely out- 
ward seeing and not perception. The contrast is more exactly 
expressed by the difference between olkovwo-l and o-wiuxtl, hearing 
and understanding. ixtJitotc iTno-Tpeifjuicnv kcu acpcOrj avro2<s — lest 
perchance they may turn, and it be forgiven the?n. 6\<pe9rj is used 

Omit to. dfxapTTjfJLaTa, their sins, after afadr} Tisch. Treg. txt. WH. RV. 
n BCL 1, 22, 118, 209, 251, 340,* one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

The whole verse is a translation of Is. 6 9 , adapted freely from 
the Sept. It takes these phrases aKorj aKovo-ere k. ov fxrj a-vvrjre, 
k. y8Ae7rovre? /3\eif/ovcrLv k. ov /xrj l&rjre and [xrjTroTe iTrL<TTp€\f/(i>o-iv k. 
Idaofxai avrovs out of their connection and pieces them together. 

In explaining this difficult passage, it is to be noticed, first, that 
the difference between the form of the quotation in Mt. on the 
one hand, and Mk. and Lk. on the other, corresponds to a like 
difference between the original Hebrew and the LXX. In the 
Hebrew, God says to his prophet, "Go, . . . make the heart of 
this people fat and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest 


they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand 
with their heart, and turn again and be healed/' That is, God is 
represented as sending his prophet to harden the heart of the 
people by his prophetic message, as if Rubinstein should have 
been told to deaden people's musical sense by his playing, or 
Bishop Brooks to stifle their religious sense by his preaching. In 
the LXX., on the contrary, the hardening is the cause, not the 
purpose. The people will not hear the prophet's message because 
their heart is hardened, and they have shut their eyes. So in Mt., 
following the LXX., Jesus speaks to them in parables because their 
heart is waxed gross, and their ears dull of hearing. And espe- 
cially, the obnoxious /xrjwoTt €7rL<rTp£\j/axnv k. iacro/xat avrovs is in- 
cluded in the result of their own conduct, and not in the Divine 
purpose. Mk. and Lk., however, follow the original in making 
the failure to hear and see to be the purpose of the parable. But 
Lk. omits the obnoxious fxr]7rOT€ €7rL(TTp€\)j(i}aLv k. a<f>t6f} avroh. And 
yet, there is no doubt, from the identity of language, that Mk., 
and following him, Lk., quote from the LXX., while modifying it 
for some reason. That reason would seem to be, that Mk. had 
in mind the form in which Jesus quotes the passage, and that this 
was conformed to some Targum, preserving the spirit of the 
original. This confirms what is otherwise probable, that Mk., 
rather than Mt., preserves the original form of Jesus' saying. But 
while Mk., and according to the above, Jesus himself, conforms to 
the original Hebrew, he does not preserve the irony which is the 
saving element of the passage in Isaiah. It is only ironically that 
God commands the prophet to harden the people by his pungent 
preaching, because he sees that this will be the inevitable result. 
Whereas, it is evidently in all seriousness, that Jesus describes this 
as the result of the parable. The parable is evidently regarded by 
Jesus as a form of teaching intended to veil the truth conveyed, 
and adapted, therefore, to esoteric teaching. Moreover, the teach- 
ing is esoteric ; it concerns the mysteries of the kingdom of God, 
not the ordinary facts in regard to it, but certain things intended 
not for the common ear, but only for the disciples. And the 
parable does so veil the meaning that it has to be explained even 
to them. There is a key to each of the parables, some funda- 
mental analogy, which is necessary to its explanation. In the 
Parable of the Sower, this is found in the statement that the seed 
is the word. Without this, the meaning is obscure. That is, the 
language of Isaiah, applied to the teaching of Jesus as a whole, 
would have the irony of the original ; but applied to the parables, 
it is to be taken seriously. This makes all plain sailing until we 
come to the obnoxious fx-rj-n-oTe iTno-Tptif/axrLv k. d<f>eOrj avTois. There 
the irony reappears, for it would evidently be only ironically, and 
not earnestly, that Jesus would say of any of his teaching, that it 
was intended to prevent the forgiveness and conversion of the 


people. It makes the proper climax to the original passage, but 
is out of place in Jesus' use of it. But, after the mechanical 
fashion, which often marks the reporting of discourse, Mk., re- 
membering only that Jesus used this quotation, reproduced the 
passage as he found it in the original, without omitting its irrelevant 
clauses. Mt, on the other hand, quoting from the LXX., without 
the modification introduced by Mk., has not involved himself in 
the same difficulty, but has not reproduced for us what Jesus said. 
Lk., seeing the difficulty involved in Mk.'s report, has omitted the 
obnoxious clause, giving us probably the genuine form of the quo- 
tation. Our Lord's statement, then, is simply this, that the mys- 
tery of the kingdom, or its secret, is not intended for those outside 
of it, and that therefore he uses in conveying it to his disciples 
the contrivance of the parable, so that outsiders who have not the 
clue may hear without hearing. 

13. ovk oiSare kt\. This is treated by some of the critics and 
commentators as a question, and by others as a statement. Of 
course, the original text contained no intimation in which of these 
two ways it is to be taken, and there is little choice in the mean- 
ings obtained. Taken as a statement, the succeeding question is 
an inference from the fact that they do not know this parable. As 
a question, it already expresses surprise at the fact that they do not 
know this parable, and then follows the inference. Kat 7rcus 7rao-as 
Tas 7rapa/?oAas yvaxreo-0e; — and how will you know all the parables t 
The argument is from the similarity of the parables. This is not 
an unusual instance, but a good example of its class. The lack 
of perception shown in this case would extend to all similar cases. 

14. tov \6yov oWpei. tov Xoyov is emphatic, and contains the 
key to the parable. He is speaking of the sowing of the word, and 
pointing out the analogies between this and the sowing of seed. 

15. ovrot 8e eiW ot Trapa ttjv 68oV — And these are they along 
the road. The seed and the soil are here confounded. The seed 
is the word, the soil is the mind of the hearer. The exact state- 
ment would be, these are the road. 

epxcTat 6 Sarai/a? — Satan comes. One would say naturally that 
the birds in the parable were merely a part of the picture, and 
had no counterpart in the spiritual fact represented by it. One 
main principle in the interpretation of the parables is that only 
the one truth represented in the comparison is to be seized upon, 
and the details are to be treated as mere incidents, on the ground 
that things in the spiritual and material worlds correspond only in 
generals. And it is evident that Jesus generally treated the para- 
bles with this largeness and sobriety. But in this case, an oppor- 
tunity is given Jesus to introduce into his account of obstructions 
to the fruitfulness of the seed the agency of that kingdom of evil 
which complicates the whole problem. The primary result of 
sowing on this hard soil is that the seed remains on the surface, 


the secondary result is, that it is snatched away from the mind by 
the influences represented by Satan. The road, or path, repre- 
sents those whose spirits are impervious to the truth, into whom 
it finds no entrance at all. 

rbv \6you rbv ecnrap/xe'vov ev avrots {els airovs), the word which has been 
sown in them, ev avrots, instead of ev rats Kapdlats, in their hearts, T. x 
CL A Meniph. Hard. marg. els avrovs, Treg. WH. RV. B 1, 13, 28, 69, 118, 

16. bjxoiws — in like manner, — by virtue of the same general 
resemblance, ol . . . cnreipofxevoL — There is the same confusion 
of seed and soil as in the preceding case. ev$v<s fxera xapas — This 
corresponds to the evOvs e^aviraXe of the parable, and denotes one 
side of the resemblance, the superficial readiness with which they 
receive the word. They have been attracted by the pleasant 
things, and have not stopped to count the pains and oppositions 
that constitute the other side of the kingdom in this evil world. 

17. pllav — root. The analogy is so close, that the various 
terms belonging to the physical process and material have become 
familiar designations of the corresponding spiritual facts, such as 
seed, soil, root, fruit, and the like. Root denotes the hold which 
the truth has upon the spirit, securing its permanence. The 
absence of it designates the superficiality of this class of hearers. 
7rp6(TKatpoi — transient. This describes the merely temporary 
effect of the word upon them, owing to their superficiality. 0\C- 
\f/e<Ds rj &ia)yp:ov — affliction or persecution. We may suppose that 
this is not an exhaustive statement of the things destructive of the 
truth in the superficial hearer, that it simply represents them by 
the one thing operative in that early period of conflict. Only 
deeply rooted discipleship can withstand persecution, evdvs 
o-KavoaAi'£ovTai — immediately they stumble. Immediateness is 
characteristic of this class on both sides. They receive the word 
immediately, and fall away immediately. Haste and superficiality 
go together. They do not wait to see if there is any other side to 
religion than the glad side, nor, on the other side, whether afflic- 
tion is a sufficient reason for giving it up. a-KavSaXt^ovraL — is 
found only in the N.T., and means to cause to fall or stumble, and 
in the pass., to fall or stumble. It is the opposite of to stand. The 
translation of the AV., they are offended, gives a wrong idea of the 
word. RV. they stumble. 

18. Kal aWot — and others. 

Kal &\\ot, instead of Kal ovrot, and these, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n * BC* 
DL A mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

ol cnreipopLevoi cts Tas d/cai/flas — those sown among the 
thorns. The confusion of seed and soil is repeated here, ot rbv 
A.oyov aKovcravres — who heard the word. 

1 See 3' 23 , note. 


axowaPTes instead of cucovovres, hear, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 
13, 69, 124, 346, Memph. Pesh. 

19. at ixepifxvai — the cares. Literally, the distractions. They 
are the things that divide the unity of the spirit, drawing it off differ- 
ent ways, tov alwvos — the age. EV. world. There is only one 
passage, Heb. i 2 , in which there is any call to render this word 
world instead of age. Here it means the present evil time. It is 
contrasted with the atwv /^eXAwv, the coming time, in which good, 
instead of evil, will predominate. 

Omit tovtov, this, after rod alQvos Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A I, 
102, mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. etc. 

avarr) rov ttXovtov — deceit of wealth, the power which it has to 
deceive men with its enticements, representing itself as the great 
good, ra Xonra — not other things, but the remaining things. The 
article renders it definite. The other things of the same character 
as wealth are meant, o-vixttv iy ovo-l — the compound represents 
the completeness of the process, choke utterly} a.Ka.piro% — unfruit- 
ful. The test of genuine appropriation of the truth is, that it 
produces effects of life and character corresponding to itself. 
The characteristic of this class of hearers is prepossession of the 
soil by alien things, which have not been weeded out. The warn- 
ing against wealth in the a-rraT-q t. ttXovtov is characteristic of our 
Lord's teaching. 2 

20. Kat c/cetvoi — and those. 

etceivoi instead of ovtoi, these, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A Pesh. 

We have three different pronouns, or adjectives, used in point- 
ing out the various classes of hearers, ovtoi, then ovtoi o/notws, 
indicating a general resemblance ; then aAAoi, denoting a specific 
difference ; and finally Zkuvoi, denoting contrast with all that pre- 
cede, ol orTrapevTes — that were sown. The part, in the other 
cases has been present, denoting the general fact about seed sown 
in such places. The aor. here confines it to the particular case of 
the parable, omves — differs from the simple relative in that it 
generalizes the statement; whoever, or such as. Trapah€x 0VTat — 
Always, in the N.T., this denotes a favorable reception, to accept, 
the opposite of reject. Kap-rrofyopovo-iv — bear fruit. This is what 
distinguishes the good soil from all others. What is planted in it 
bears fruit ; truth becomes virtue in that soil. It does not denote 
the labors or success of this class of laborers in propagating truth. 
Our Lord distinguishes between this kind of fruit and the obedi- 
ence which is the real test of discipleship, in Mt. 7 21 " 23 . h TpiaKovTa 

1 (Tv/jLirviyova-t belongs to later Greek. 

2 See io2»-25. But this depreciation of wealth is specially a trait of Lk.'s Gos- 
pel. See 620- 24 I2 15-21 ^-ls. 19-31. 


— literally in thirty. The preposition denotes the number as that 
in which the fruit-bearing is accomplished. 

The choice between iv and ev is a matter of interpretation, not of text, 
as the original had neither breathings nor accents. But all the accented 
uncials give ev, also 1, 33, 69, 124, Syrr.; so Tisch.Treg. WH. RV. Latt. 
Memph. read ev. Before the other numerals, WH. bracket ev, on account 
of its omission by BC*. iv^ gives the better construction, and is the prob- 
able reading, as the neuter ev has nothing with which to agree. 


Jesus is led on by the necessity of fruitfulness emphasized in 
the parable to present this under another analogy, of giving light. 
And this leads him to speak still further of the provision against 
hiding, or secrecy, in the Divine economy. Finally, to enforce 
what he has said of the way in which men treat the word, he 
enjoins on them to consider what they hear. It will be seen that 
there is a certain appositeness in the connection of these detached 
sayings. But in the case of the statement about secrecy, another 
connection is possible, at least. 

21-25. 21. Kat eXeyev drrot? — And he said to them. This indi- 
cates a change of subject. MrjrL differs from p.rj, in strengthening 
the negative answer implied. The lamp does not come at all, does 
it ? vtto r. fji68iov — under the peck measure. 1 Av^i/ta — lamp- 
stand. 2 It corresponds to A.ux vo? > fa*np t in the preceding part of 
the statement. 

Mt. introduces this proverb in the Sermon on the Mount, 5 1 *" 16 
with the meaning, The light that is in you is not meant to be hidden, 
but to shine forth in good deeds in the sight of men. And here, it 
is probably put into connection with the preceding statement 
about fruit-bearing, in order to enforce anew, under another figure, 
the fact that the ultimate end of truth in man is to come out into 
manifestation as virtue. Truth considered as seed, bears fruit; 
considered as light, it shines, but the one fact expressed in both 
figures is that it results in character and conduct. 

22. ov yap icrri tl KpvwTov, €av firf tva <j>avepoi6rj — for there is 
nothing hidden, except that it may be manifested. 

Omit the relative before thv p}, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x ABCKL A 
1, 13, 28, 33, 69, 102, 209. D 49, mss. of Lat. Vet. ctXX' tva, but that. 

1 The word (u65io? comes from the Latin modius, which denotes a peck measure. 
EV. bushel. 

2 \v\vla is a later Greek form for kvxvelov. 


The ultimate end of the hiding is manifesting This is a case of 
the argumentum a minori. Even what is hidden is hidden only 
for the purpose of ultimate manifestation, and how much more is 
this true of anything that is in its nature light, instead of dark. 
kpvtttov is emphatic. The progress of all knowledge is the mani- 
festation of this principle. The earth is full of secrets, hidden 
treasures and forces, but they have been hidden away, only in 
order that man may bring them forth out of their hiding, and en- 
rich his life with them. 

ovSe iyivcro aTroKpvcfjov — nor did it become hidden away. This 
differs from the former by the difference between eyeWo and iari. 
It points to the act of hiding, as that does to the state. Both are 
for the same purpose. God has secrets, mysteries, but they are 
not permanent secrets, only held in reserve for future revelation. 

This statement about hiding for the sake of revealing is con- 
nected immediately by yap with the preceding statement about 
hiding the light. But it would seem more natural to connect it 
with the fjLvo-Trjpiov, the secret of the kingdom, the preservation of 
which is said to be the object of the parable. With this addition, 
the statement about secret things becomes complete. It is only 
temporarily that the secret is kept by the parable. Ultimately, it 
becomes a means of revealing that which it temporarily hides. 
And this brings it under the great law stated by Jesus. 

24. Kat lAeyev avrot? — and he said to them. See note on v. 21 . 
fiXeweTe tl aKovere — Consider what you hear. Not beware what 
you hear, be on your guard against hearing anything prejudicial 
to others. This meaning has been given to the words, because of 
a misunderstanding of the proverb which follows, which has been 
taken to mean here, as in Mt. 7 2 , that men will treat you as you 
treat them. But this leaves the whole thing without any connec- 
tion with the rest of the discourse, utterly irrelevant. Whereas it 
is evident that aKovino and ckou'ere go together. And v. 25 is con- 
nected with this by yap. Some meaning must be found for this, 
therefore, that will justify this connection. The meaning Consider 
what you hear is apposite to the connection with a parable which 
shows the consequences of inconsiderate hearing. 

kv <S /Ltcrpo) juerpetTe, p.eTpr)6r}creTai vpuv — in what measure you 
measure it will be measured to you. As we have seen, the mean- 
ing of this familiar proverb in Mt. f does not fit here. In this 
passage, it means, Whatever measure you use yourself will be the 
one in which truth will be measured out to you. If a man accus- 
toms himself to small measures of truth, small measures will be 
dealt out to him, and vice versa. koX Trpoo-TeOrjaeTaL vp2v — and 
it shall be increased to you. This is commonly interpreted to 
mean that not only the same, but a larger measure will be dealt out 
to them. But this is inconsistent with the statement that in what 
measure they measure it will be measured to them. TrpovTiOrjveTai 


as well as fx^rp-qOrja-trai is modified by iv <S /zcVpa) /xerpeire. In 
what measure you measure it shall be ?neasured and increased to 
you. The measure and increase of their knowledge will both be 
proportioned to their own measures. Whatever they present will 
be filled. 

Omit tois &Kovov<riv, who hear, after v/uv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL 
A 102, etc. Latt. Memph. 

25. os yap l^et — for he who hath. 

ex^i, instead of av %xv (who, instead of whoever), Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BCL A 13, 28, 69. 

This again is a general proverb, applicable to many things, 
made to do duty in this high and homely discourse. It means in 
this connection, If a man has a well-stored mind, he will be 
continually adding to that store, and on the contrary, small knowl- 
edge tends to decrease. However, this does not apply to mental 
ability, but to the use that one makes of his ability, or, as it stands 
here, to the attentiveness with which he hears. It all depends on 
the principle that knowledge is a series of successive steps, in 
which each step depends on the preceding. On the other hand, 
if a man does not acquire knowledge, the disuse of his faculties 
implied in that will render them unfit for use. 


It is significant that this most fundamental of all the parables is 
given by Mk. alone, who omits so many given by the other evan- 
gelists. It is fundamental, because it contains the truth about the 
adaptation of seed and soil, which underlies all these analogies 
drawn from the growth of the seed. 

26-29. 26. (os av9p(07ro<s (3aXr). The omission of iav renders the 
construction difficult, which probably accounts for its introduc- 
tion by some copyist. Two constructions are possible; either 
to? avOpoiTros os /3a\\ei ; or ws «av avOpuHros (SdXrj- The omission 
of eav in the original is probably a slip. 

Omit ikv after is, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDs r - L A 13, 28, 33, 69, 
118, 124, one ms. of Vulg. Memph. 

tov (xiropov — the seed; the generic use of the article. 

27. KaOevSr) k. eyetpr/rat vvktcl k. fifxtpav — sleeps and wakes dur- 
ing night and day. The ace. differs from the gen. in such desig- 
nations of time by denoting duration, instead of periods of time 
at which the action occurs. The statement connects the two 


verbs, instead of separating them, and putting each with its appro- 
priate time. j3\a<TTa koI /at/ku^tou 1 — sprouts and grow s. <os ovk 
oTSev avrds — avTos is emphatic ; how, he knows not. This does 
not exclude the processes of cultivation, but refers to the power of 
growth in the plant itself, beyond the reach or knowledge of the 

28. avTOfxarrj rj yrj 2 — the earth of itself. The absence of the 
connective yap gives force to the statement by the abruptness of 
its introduction. 

Omit yap, for, before y 777, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCL 102, etc. 
Memph. edd - Hard. 

This statement, that the land bears fruit of itself, is the fact 
underlying all these analogies of seed and soil. The land contains 
in itself the elements needed for the nourishment and growth of 
the plant, and hence the great thing for man to do is to bring 
together these mutually adapted things, the seed and the soil. 
And in the spiritual realm, there is the same adaptation of the 
truth to the spirit of man. The mind of man is related to the 
truth as the soil to the seed. There may be minor differences of 
soil, as set forth in the Parable of the Sower, but the prime fact is 
this generic fitness. All the trust of man in the greatness and 
prevalence of the truth is warranted by this fact alone. The mind 
is adapted to the truth, as the eye to the light. This single fact 
creates the confidence shown by Jesus in the ultimate establish- 
ment of his kingdom, in spite of the obstacles which obstruct its 
progress, irp^rov xoprov, elrev crrdxyv, elrev 7r\qpY}<; <tito<s 3 — first 
blade, then ear, then full grain. 

eirev, instead of eira, Tisch. WH. N B* L A. irXr/prjs <titos, nom. instead 
of ace, Tisch. Treg. BD Memph. C* 271 read ir\rjpes <titov. 

Xoprov — literally, grass, i.e. the part of the grain which is like 
grass, before the grain heads out. 

29. orav 8c wapaSol 6 Kap-rros — but whenever the fruit permits* 

TrapaSoi, instead of Trapady, Tisch. Treg. WH. N * BD A. 

1 /3\ttaTa is subj. from the form j3Aaorau>. txr)<vvr)ra.L means literally to lengthen. 
It is used 'only here in N.T., and Is. 44 14 in the O.T. In both cases, it is used 
of the growth of plants, an unfamiliar use of the word. 

2 (ivroixaTi) occurs only twice in the N.T. On its adverbial use, see Win. 54, 2. 

3 The nom. makes this statement independent of the preceding structure, and 
so calls attention to it. 

4 So Thay.-Grm. Lex. Meyer, Weiss. The intrans. meaning, presents itself, is 
not attested. TrapaSoi is an irregular form of the sec. aor. subj., instead of 7rap*5w. 


evdvs d7rooTe'AA.« to SpcVai/ov — immediately he sends forth the 
sickle. Sickle is here put by metonymy for the reapers. Imme- 
diately serves to mark vividly the time when man's inaction ceases. 
No sooner does the fruit allow, than he puts in the sickle. 


The meaning of the parable is, that direct agencies, human or 
divine, are employed only at the beginning and end of the proc- 
ess of establishing the kingdom of God. At the beginning, there 
is the sowing of the seed, the dissemination of the word among 
men. And at the end, there is the gathering of the fruit, of men 
in whom the processes of spiritual growth have reached comple- 
tion, into his kingdom. During the intervening time, the result is 
left to the moral and spiritual self-action of humanity, which of 
itself acts vitally upon the word, turning it into truth of character 
and conduct. The emphasis of the parable is thus laid on the 
avTo/xoLTr) fj yrj Kapwofopei, the earth of itself bears fruit. So Meyer. 
Weiss and Holtzmann and others maintain that the parable is only 
an adaptation of the Parable of the Tares, with the tares left out, 
and the note of gradual growth introduced, in order to introduce 
this element into the parabolic teaching. But this is to omit the 
very point of the parable, the reason for the inactivity during the 
intermediate period, which is found in the self-activity of the soil, 
the human spirit. Moreover, this is one of the places where, 
even more than usual, our Lord lays bare the roots, the essential 
principles of things. Morison also shows an equal ability to miss 
the mark, in his statement, that it is the seed which acts avrofxarrj. 
It is not the seed which fructifies the earth, but the earth which 
fructifies the seed. 


There is one lesson of the analogy of the growth from seed 
sown in the earth which remains to be shown. And the Parable 
of the Mustard Seed is introduced to teach this — that the small 
beginning and gradual growth is not inconsistent with a great 


82 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IV. 30, 31 

30-34. 30. 7rcos ofxonoo-iDfxev rrjv fiaaiXeiav tot) ©cov, rj kv tlvl avrrjv 
7rapa(3o\rj 6u>(xev ; 1 — How shall we liken the kingdom of God, or in 
what parable shall we set it forth, or place it? 

Ilwy, instead of Tlvi, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A two mss. Lat. Vet. 
Hard. marg. iv tIvl airrjv TrapaftoXr} 6Q>p.€v, instead of irolq. irapa(3o\r} 
wapapd\u>fxep avr^v, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L A Memph. Hard. 

31. ws kokko) crii/a7r€0)s — as to a grain of mustard? o<s, orav 
. . . , fiLKporcpov ov 7rdvT0)v to)v <nrepnoLT(Dv . . . , kcu orav cnraprj 3 
— which, whenever it is sown upon the earth, being (is) greater 
than all the seeds upon the earth ; and whenever it is sown, etc. 

fwcporepop ov (omit fori), Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BL A (L we) two 
mss. Lat. Vet. tMucpdrepdv iart D * M etc. 

/A£i£oi/ iravriav rwv \ax^ V(iiV — greater than all the garden-herbs, 
or vegetables. 

fxeifrv, instead of fielfrv, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. n ABCELV 33. 

This comparison is intended to denote the superiority of this 
plant to others of the class Aaxava to which it belongs, which have 
no woody fibre, like trees and shrubs, so that it even passes over 
into the latter class, making great branches under which the birds 
can find shade. And this is contrasted with the unusual smallness 
of the seed. Mk. and Lk. say directly that it becomes a SeVSpov. 4 

ware SvvaaOai V7r6 rrjv (tklov avrov ra Trkrziva. tov ovpavov KaraaK-q- 
vovv — so that the birds of heaven can lodge (tent, or camp dowii) 
under its shades. 

This is a different account from that given in Mt. and Lk., 
where the birds are said to lodge in the branches. Here its great- 
ness is described by saying that it affords shade for the birds. 
The parable means that the kingdom is like growing things in 
having small beginnings and a great ending. 

1 The subj. in these verbs is the subj. of deliberative questions, in which the 
questioner consults another about the matter in hand. See Win. 41 a, 4. 

2 This retains in the answer the construction of the question ; supplying the 
omitted word, it would read, <Ls k6kku> o-ivan-ews 6ju.oic6o-oju.ei', as to a grain of mustard 
seed we will liken it. 

3 There is a double anacoluthon here ; first, the neuter, as if the antecedent 
were aitip^a. ; and secondly, the participle, instead of the indicative. The whole 
sentence is thrown into confusion by this, so that a literal translation would read, 
tuhich, whenever it is sorvn, being less than all seeds, and whenever it is sown, comes 
up, etc. 

4 See Hackett, Illustrations of Scripture, p. 131. 

IV. 33, 34] THE MUSTARD SEED 83 


In order to understand the significance of this group of para- 
bles, we have to learn not only their separate meanings, but their 
common features. They have a mystery of the kingdom to un- 
fold, namely, the gradualness of its establishment, in opposition 
to the prevalent notion of its immediate setting up by a Divine, 
supernatural power. And they give one common reason for this, 
that the kingdom belongs to the class of things that grow subject 
to natural laws, not to those that are set up full-grown by external 
force. More particularly, the Parable of the Sower shows that the 
present slow growth is due to the differences of soil ; that is, of 
spirit in the hearers. It is a matter of the Word and of hearers 
of the Word, and the result is largely influenced by the different 
classes of hearers. The Parable of the Ground Producing by 
Itself shows that the growth depends on forces hidden in the soil 
itself, that is, on the adaptation of the spirit to the truth, and that 
this common fitness underlies all differences of soil. The mind 
of man and the word of God are at bottom adapted to each 
other. The Parable of the Mustard Seed shows that small begin- 
nings belong to the nature of the kingdom, but not less, large and 
complete results. 

33. Kal TOLCLvrais Trapaf3o\at^ TroXXais avrots r. \6yov — 

and with many such parables he spoke to them the word. That is, 
the mystery of the kingdom which he was teaching them on this 
occasion. He did not confine himself to parables on other sub- 
jects and occasions. 

KaOuis rj&wavTo olkovclv 1 — as they were able to hear. This modi- 
fication of the statement that he spoke to them in parables, does 
not mean that he spoke to them in such parables as they were 
able to hear, not going beyond that limit ; but that he spoke to 
them in parables, as being the form of speech to which they were 
able to listen. He was not restricted by their only partial ability to 
hear to some parables, instead of others, but to parables in general, 
instead of some other mode of address. The mystery of the king- 
dom itself they were not able to hear, except in this veiled form. 

34. rots iStbis fiaO-qrals — to his own disciples. 

tocs Idiots fxadi/jrais, instead of tois fj.adr)Tais avrov, Tisch. Treg. marg. 
WH. RV. n BCL A. 

1 The earlier classical form of *a0ws is ko.96 or KaOd. See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 
Win. 2, 1, d, e. 

84 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IV. 35, 36 


35-41. Jesus and his disciples cross to the eastern side of 
the lake, and are overtaken by one of the sudden storms pro- 
duced by the situation of this inland sea, which Jesus stills 
with a word. 

35. eKuvy t. rjjxipa — that day, viz. the day on which Jesus 
uttered the parables. Mt. connects this stilling of the storm with 
the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, and the gathering of the mul- 
titude about him at that time. Cf. Mt. 8 14 " 27 , and Mk. i 29 " 34 . How- 
ever, the mark of time in Mt. is not definite enough to create 
positive disagreement. Lk. says simply on one of the days, oi/a'a? x 
— evening. It is either the time between three and six, or that 
between six and dark. Probably the former is meant here, as the 
latter time would not allow for the events that follow. AicAtfw/xci/ 
els to nipav 2 — Let us cross over to the other side. Jesus' frequent 
crossing to the other side of the lake was due to its unpopulated 
condition, and to the comparative ignorance of himself there, 
giving him an escape from the wearing ministries to the crowd on 
the populous west shore, and also frequently from his enemies. 

36. 7rapaXafx/3dvov(nv avrbv to? rjv iv r. 7tXolo) — they take him 
along as he was in the boat. This refers evidently to the boat 
from which Jesus taught the multitude, v. 1 . The explanations of 
the parables, therefore, v. 10 sq. 34 , must have been made at some 
other time. It seems, according to this statement, that the dis- 
ciples dismissed the multitudes without Jesus leaving the boat, and 
then, without further delay or preparation, took him along in the 
boat where he had remained all the time. Mt. makes the dif- 
ferent statement, that Jesus embarked in the boat, and his disci- 
ples followed him. 

kolL SXka 7rAota tfv per airov — And other boats were with him. 

Omit U after 4\\a,Treg. WH. RV. x BC* L A Latt.etc. -n-Xota, instead 
of irXoidpta, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDKM A I, 13, 33, 69, etc. 

per avrov, with him, settles the fact, that the other boats were 
in their company. Jesus was followed about from place to place, 
not only by the twelve regularly and by appointment associated 
with him, but by other disciples more or less intimately attached 
to his person. These would follow him in boats across the lake. 
Mk., with his usual eye for a picture, adds this to complete the 
scene, and to be carried in the mind when the story of the storm 
is reached. 

1 6i|/i'a? is used as an adjective only, outside of Biblical Greek. It means late. 

2 At- in SteA0w^ei/, like our word over, refers to the space to be passed through or 
over in reaching the point designated. 


37. AatXa^ — a storm marked by frequent great gusts of wind. 
Mt. uses o-«<r/>to5, which means properly earthquake, but denoting 
here the turbulence of the storm. 

teal ra KvfjLaTa kirifiaWcv 1 — and the waves were beating into the 
boat, cis — into, not against, wore 77877 ye/u'£ecr0ai t. ttAoiov — SO 
that already the boat was filling. Not full, AV. The verb is 
present, and denotes the act in its progress, not its completion. 

^77 ye/xl^eadai rb ttXoTop, instead of avrd IjSr] ye/xi^adai, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. N a BCDL A most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Hard. marg. 

This repetition of the noun, instead of the pronoun, is quite in 
Mk.'s style. 

38. Kal avros ijv iv rrj irpvjxvri — And he was in the stem. The 
pronoun is emphatic. 

kv rrj Trpvfxpv, instead of eVt, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDL A etc. 

This sleep is noticeable, because it shows the fatigue of Jesus 
after his day's work, and his unconsciousness of the violent storm. 
Aioao-/caA.e — Teacher, not Master, by which the word is persistently 
mistranslated in the EV. The title used by the disciples was prob- 
ably Rabbi, ov fxeXec o-ot; cares t thou not? This question im- 
plies that they thought of Jesus as waking sufficiently to know what 
was going on, but going off to sleep again regardless of their fate. 

39. iTrtTiprjo-e — he rebuked. The verb contains in itself not only 
the notion of chiding, but also of restraint by that means. Proba- 
bly, all that Jesus said was 2iw7ra, TTe^i/Awo-o, so that the chiding 
would be expressed in the tones of his voice. 7rc^>i/xwo-o — be 
silent, be muzzled. Cf. 1 Cor. 9 9 , TR. The latter is not only a 
strong word in itself, but the perf. imp. strengthens the command, 
like our have done with it. It means not only be still, but stay so. 2 
e/coVacrev — ceased. This again is a descriptive word, denoting 
not only ceasing, but the ceasing of a tired person. yaXyvrj fxcydkrj 
— a great calm, contrasted with the great storm. Cf. v. 37 . 

40. Tt SuXol tare; oxnrw €X €T€ row ) — Why are you fearful ? 
have you not yet faith ? The lack of faith is in himself, in his 
power and disposition to care for them, and, as implied in the 
ov7ra), after so many attestations of both. Their appeal to him 
while he was asleep had not been the calm invocation of a trusted 
power, but the frightened reproach of those whose faith is defeated 
by danger. 

oviru, instead of ovtoj; irws oiic, Treg. WH. RV. s BDL A, most mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

41. i<jiofirjOr)<rav <f>6/3ov fiiyav — they were frightened a great 
fright? The subject is the disciples, who alone are mentioned 

1 On this intransitive use of /3<£AA« and its compounds, see Win. 38, 1. 

2 See Win. 43, 4. 3 See Win. 32, 2. 


here. Mt., on the contrary, says ol avdpunroi. TYs apa — who then, a 
question inspired by what they had seen, 6Vi — that. But the conj. 
is causal, denoting the reason of their fright, and of the question 
that is forced from them. koL 6 ave/xos k. 17 OaXacra-a — even the 
wind and the sea. Not only diseases and demons, but the ele- 
ments themselves. Their wonder in this case took the form of 
fear, corresponding to the feeling with which they regarded the 
power of the elements against which Jesus matched himself, v-n-a- 
kovcl — obeys him. The wind and the sea are looked at collectively 
here, as making one great whole. 

vircLKOvei, instead of viranovovaiv, Tisch. Treg. WH. K* BCL A I, 13, 28, 
69, etc. 

Weiss and Beyschlag rationalize this miracle after the same 
general fashion. The rebuke of the disciples grows into a rebuke 
of the elements, and the confidence of Jesus in his Father's deliv- 
erance into an assertion of his own power to still the waves. 
Holtzmann adds to this the presence in the narrative of O.T. 
material, which has been used in building up the account. Weiss 
is not so rationalistic in this as the others, as he is contending only 
against the notion that Jesus performs the miracles himself, instead 
of the Father. The command given to the elements, he thinks, 
would be an assumption of power over them by Jesus himself. 
But any more so than the commands given to the demons ? He 
acts throughout as God's agent, but such an agent can order about 
demons and storms. Holtzmann is prepossessed against miracles 
in general ; Beyschlag against miracles in the sphere of inanimate 
nature, where spirit does not act upon spirit. But the apostolic 
source of the narrative renders this rationalizing futile. The 
general fact of the miracles is established by this, and by their 
absolute uniqueness, conforming them to the unique quality of 
Jesus' whole life in the moral sphere. This leaves room to exclude 
individual miracles for special reasons, or even to discriminate 
among kinds of miracles, as Beyschlag does. But Beyschlag's 
principle excludes, e.g. the miracle of feeding the multitude, the 
best attested of all the miracles. And there is no other special 
improbability about this miracle of stilling the storm — on the 
contrary, a certain congruousness, a manifestation of the fact that 
the power resident in nature is in the last analysis spiritual, and 
that Jesus was the Agent of that Power. 


V. All of the Synoptics agree in correlating the three miracles 
narrated in this chapter. And Mk. and Lk. agree in general in 
the relation of these to events preceding and following. But 


Mt. places them in an entirely different connection. According 
to him, the occasion of Jesus' crossing to the other side was the 
gathering of the multitude about him owing to the miracles 
accompanying the healing of Peter's mother-in-law. And the 
parables are said to be delivered on a day following, not preced- 
ing, the sending forth of the twelve, and removed from these 
events by a considerable interval. According to our account, the 
evident intention is to connect Jesus' departure with the failure of 
Jesus' mission to the Galileans marked by the veiled teaching of 
the parables. The recurrence of the same language in various 
places marks the interdependence of the Synoptics, as also the 
correlation of the events. But Mk.'s fulness of detail, in which 
he is followed to some extent by Lk., is characteristic. 


1-20. Jesus crosses the lake into Decapolis on the south- 
eastern shore, and heals a man said to be possessed of a host 
of demons. The demons ; driven out of the man, enter with 
Jesus' permission into a herd of swine, and the maddened 
beasts rush into the lake and are drowned. 

1. ets Trjv x^pav Taiv Tepao-rjviov — into the country of the Gera- 
senes. TaSaprjvwv is the probable reading in Mt., and Tepy€<TY)vu>v 
in Lk. The country of the Gadarenes designates the district gen- 
erally by the name of a principal city. Tepyeo-qvw is probably the 
name of the town in whose immediate vicinity the event occurred, 
which must have been on the shore of the lake. Tepao-qvotv is 
more difficult to dispose of, as Gerasa is too far away to be the 
scene of the incident, or even to become a familiar designation 
of the general locality. And the similarity of name indicates that 
it has been confused with the nearer Gergesa. 1 

Yepao-tjv&v, instead of TaSaprjvQv, Tisch. Treg. x* BD Latt. Tepyeo-tjvQv 
Treg. marg.WH. RV. LU A I, 28, 33, 118, 131,209, Memph. Hard. marg. 
Internal, as well as external, evidence favors TepacrrjvQy. 

2. i£e\06vTos avrov — The TR. gives the proper construction of 
the part., putting it in agreement with avrw after v-rrrjvTrjo-ev. This 
improper use of the gen. absolute is a specimen of the inaccuracy 
of Mk. in dealing with the part., like the fxucporepov bv of 4 31 . The 

1 See Thompson, Land and Book, Bib. Die. 


TR. is an evident correction of this mistake by some copyist. 
Mt.'s repetition of the inaccuracy is one of the proofs of the 
interdependence of the Synoptics. Mt. 8 28 , Critical Text. 

H-€\66vtos avTov, instead of £i;e\06vTi avrcp, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N 
BCL A I, 13, 33, 69, 118, 124, 131, 209, 346, two mss. Lat. Vet. (Memph. 
Syrr.). vir-qvT-qaev, instead of dTr^vTrjaev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDGL 
A 1, 13, 28, 69, etc. 

ck roiv fxvrjixetwv — out of the tombs. These were natural or 
artificial excavations in the rocks, frequently cut laterally in the 
hills, and often left uncovered, which, like other caves, would be 
resorts for wild men and beasts, iv 7rveu/xaTt aKaOdprto — in an 
unclean spirit} 

3. fxvrj/jiaa-Lv. This, like /av^/aciW, v. 2 , means properly monuments. 
Tombs is a Biblical meaning. This adds to the previous statement 
that the man came from the tombs, that he had his home there. 

/ivrina<riv, instead of nvr)(xelot.s, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ABCL All etc. 

ovBl aAvo-ei ovkIti ovBeU iBvvaro — literally, and not even with a 
chain could no one no longer bind him. The RV. manages, by an 
ingenious arrangement of the negatives, to hide their barbarism. 
But the original couples them together without any mitigation of 
their effect. The TR. evidently omits ovkcti to get over this 

om, instead of ovre, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. vS BCDL A 33, etc. d\v<rei, 
instead of d\v<re<riv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BC* L 33, two mss. Lat. Vet. 
ovictTi before oiSels Tisch. Treg, WH. RV. n BC* DL A 13, 28, 69, 124, 
346, Lat. Vet. (most mss. ) Vulg. 

4. Blol to avTov 7roAAa/as 7re8ai? kcu aXva-eat SeBeaOat — on account 
of his having been bound often with fetters and chains? The perf. 
inf. here, and in BucnravOai and o-vvTerptyOca is used to denote the 
relation of these past acts to the present inability. 3 7re6ai9 kcu 
cWvo-ecri — bonds for the feet and other parts of the body. Bu- 
o-wacrOaL k. crvvTCTpfyOai — rent asunder, and crushed together. 
Breaking by pulling, and by the opposite motion of crushing, are 
denoted severally. 

Kat ovSet? to-^vev avrbv Sa/xacrat — and no one had strength to tame 
him. The statement of reasons for their inability to bind him 
ends with crvvreTpifyBai, and this introduces another independent 

5. iv rois pwqpjoxriv k. iv Tots opeai — in the tombs and in the 
mountains. Probably, these are specific and general designations 
of place — in the tombs and in other parts of the hills, rjv Kpa£u>v 
k. KaTaKO7rT0)v — he was crying and cutting. This vivid circumlo- 

1 See on 322, i24. 2 On this use of fiii with the inf. and art., see Win. 44, 6. 
3 See Win. 44, 7. 


cution for the impf. is characteristic of Mk. The forcible descrip- 
tions of the violence and frenzied strength of the demoniac are 
also peculiar to Mk. Mt. tells us simply that no one could pass 
that way, and Lk. that he went about naked. Two qualities in 
Mk. lead to this : first, his vividness of narration, and secondly, 
his desire to emphasize the greatness of Jesus' miracles. 

6. <x7ro fxxiKpoBev — front a distance. 1 TrpocreKvvrjo-ev avr<S — he 
made obeisance to him? The verb in the N.T. denotes prostration 
before another in token of reverence, but properly it denotes 
reverence by kissing the hand towards another. 

This act of homage seems inconsistent with the expostulation 
which follows. It is evident, throughout the narrative, that Jesus 
has to deal with a hostile attitude in the man, dominated, as he is, 
by the demon. But the demons, nothwithstanding, recognize 
Jesus' mastery over them, and adopt a suppliant rather than a 
defiant attitude. The -n-poo-eKvvei is not inconsistent with the 
6pKi£u), or 7rap€Ko\ct, v. 1011 . 

Xeya, says. The historical present, characteristic of Mk. 

This reading, instead of el™, said, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCKLM A 
Harcl. etc. 

7. Tt c/xot kcu aroL — What have I to do with thee ? This repro- 
duces the language of i 24 , a more or less suspicious imitation. 
The language of the expostulation is exactly the same as in Lk. 
In Mt. it is Tt rjpuv kcu <toC, vie rov ©eou ; As this is probably a 
reproduction of what was spoken originally in Aramaic, the resem- 
blance points strongly to the interdependence of the Synoptics. 
The man speaks here under the influence of the demons possess- 
ing him, identifying himself with them, but not so as to represent 
their plurality stated in v. 9 . It was such addresses as this which 
led Jesus to prevent the recognition of himself by the demoniacs. 

pufj fit fiao-avio-rjs — torment me not. This would easily imply 
that Jesus' command to them to vacate the man implied remand- 
ing them to the place of torment. And Lk.'s account follows this 
out in the afivo-o-ov, 8 31 . Also Mt. in irpo Kaipov, 8 29 . But Mk. is 
not constructed on that basis, as he substitutes e£o> rrjs x^pas f° r 
els tt)v afivo-o-ov. According to him, this would represent therefore 
the man's insane terror of being driven out of his haunts. 

8. ekeyev yap — The reason of the protest of the demons against 
Jesus' interference with them was his command to them to vacate. 
It is difficult to find a place to put this in, as the man's action 
and words in the preceding verse seem to succeed each other 

1 n*Kf>60ev. The prep, expresses the same relation as the termination of the 
adv. On this redundancy, belonging to later Greek, see Win. 65, 2. The adv. 
itself belongs to the same period. 

2 This use of the dat. is peculiar to later authors, the regular construction being 
the ace. See Win. 4, 31, I k. 


immediately in such a way as to make one act, occasioned appar- 
ently by his sight of Jesus at a distance. But evidently this 
sequence must be interrupted somewhere to introduce this. 

avra> — to him. Only the man has been mentioned before, 
which would lead us to refer this to him. But the command is 
evidently addressed to the demon. The confusion is due to the 
identification of the two. 

*E$e\de, to 7Tvcv/xa to aKaOapTov — Come out, thou unclean spirit} 

9. Tt ovofxa. croi ; — What is thy name ? 2 It is a curious question, 
why Jesus asked this question of the demoniac, and it has been 
curiously answered ; e.g. that Jesus saw the state of the case, and 
wished to bring it out in order to impress on the witnesses the 
greatness of the miracle. This ostentation we know to be far 
from the spirit of Jesus, who performed his miracles for beneficent 
purposes alone, and with secrecy, instead of ostentation. We are 
in the region of conjecture here, but we can guess at it somewhat 
after this fashion. May it not be, that the purpose of Jesus was 
hindered by this identification of the man with the demons, lead- 
ing him to resist the cure ? In that case, Jesus might ask the 
question in order to bring before the man the nature of the power 
holding him in thrall, so as to make some break in the terrible 
sympathy and alliance of the two. But it is all mixed up with 
the question as to the nature of this possession, and how far the 
account of the cure has been modified by the view of it taken by 
the narrators. It is comparatively useless to discuss details where 
the main facts are so much in doubt. 

koI Ae'yei avra> Acytcuv — And he says to him, Legion. 

\<fyet <xut<£, instead of dweKpLdrj, X^w^Tisch.Treg. WH. RV. N ABCKLM 
AIT text, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr. 

keyi&v, instead of Aeyei,*, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x* B* CDL A Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr. 

Legion is the Roman name for a body of soldiers numbering, 
when full, 6ooo men. Of course, it is a rhetorical and exagger- 
ated statement by the man of his state, as if he had said, I feel as 
if I were possessed by a thousand devils. 

otl ttoXXol ccr/xev — because we are many. Lk. puts this state- 
ment into the mouth of the Evangelist, saying himself that it was 
because many demons entered into the man. But it seems that 
Mk. is more correct, as he is certainly more effective, in making 
the demoniac say this ; for it traces back to the man himself the 
hallucination which gives shape to the story. In Lk. the plural- 
ity, which formed a part of the man's delusion, is transferred to 
the statement of facts. 

1 On the use of the nom., instead of the voc., see Win. 29, 2. 

2 On the omission of the art. with bvoixa, see Win. 19, zb. 


10. Kal wapeKaXei avrov ttoAAo, Iva fxrj avra. aTrocrrdXri — And he 

besought him much that he would not send them. 

avra, instead of airoiis, Tisch. Treg. WH. BC A etc. But avrk looks 
like an emendation. 

Here, again, the man identifies himself with the demons, but 
not so as to protest any longer against their expulsion. Only one 
demon has been mentioned before, vv. 2,8 . But with v. 9 , it begins 
to be assumed that there is a host of them, and the plural is used. 

c£a> rrjs x^P a<s — ou * °f * ne country} Lk. says eis rr\v afivaaov, 
into the abyss, i.e. into Gehenna, the place of evil spirits. And it 
has been supposed that our phrase means out of the earth, mak- 
ing it equivalent to this. But plainly, x^P a does not mean the 
earth as distinguished from the under world, but one part of the 
earth as distinct from another, yrj is the proper word for earth, or 
world. But just as plainly, the translation, out of the country (put 
into the mouth of the demons, so to speak), creates another diffi- 
culty. What preference they should have for one country over 
another is one of the mysteries connected with these stories of 
demoniacal possession. It can be explained only as part of the 
hallucination of the demoniac, to be referred possibly to his terror 
of city or town, and his unwillingness to be driven out of the soli- 
tary wild district haunted by him. Lk.'s statement is probably an 
attempt to remove the difficulty. 

11. 7rpo5 to 6pci — on the mountain side} 

t<£ 8pec, instead of tcl 6pt], Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. and about all the 
principal sources. 

Xoipmv — swine. The presence of these unclean animals, so 
abhorrent to the Jews, indicates, what we know from other 
sources, that the region was inhabited by a mixed population, in 
which Gentiles predominated. 3 

12. Kal -n-apeKaXea-av avrbv — and they besought him} Here the 
subject changes from the man speaking for the demons to the 
demons speaking through the man. 

Trepaf'ov — Lk. says, Iva €7nTp{\j/r), that he would permit, a modifi- 
cation which Mk. introduces in his account of Jesus' answer. 

Omit wdpTes oi 8aifj.oves with irapeKaXeaav, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCL A 
1, 13, 28, 69, 102, 118, 131, 209, 251, 346, Memph. 

13. Kat iirtTpcif/ev — • and he permitted them. 

Omit eidius 6 'Irjcrovs, immediately Jesus, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 
1, 28, 102, 118, 131, 209, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

1 On the use of e£ u> as a prep., see Win. 54, 6. 

2 On the use of 7rp6? with dat., see Win. 48*. The art. denotes the mountain 
in the vicinity. 3 See Schiirer, N. Zg. II. i, 121. 

4 The meaning beseech belongs to napaKa\elv only in later Greek. 


tloTJXOov eh tous x ot 'p° us — entered into the swine. It is evidently 
the intention of the writer that the man was possessed by a host 
of demons, and that this host of demons — no less would be re- 
quired — entered into the herd of (two thousand) swine. This 
literalizing of the demoniac's Legion, the multiplication of the 
difficulty of possession by the thousands, and the addition of the 
difficulty of demoniac possession of swine, makes this part of 
the story a tax upon our belief. Demoniacal possession is in 
itself such a tax, but this story shows whereto such belief in a 
credulous age tends. The facts in this case are the cure and the 
rush of the frightened swine. The traditional account connects 
them in such a way as to make Jesus responsible for one as well 
as the other. leave out now the elements of the story con- 
tributed by the idea of possession, and substitute the theory of 
lunacy, and the rational account of the fright and destruction of 
the swine is that it was occasioned by some paroxysm of the 
lunatic himself. 

Kat upfxrjcrtv rj ayi\-q Kara tov Kprjfxvov tk tt)v 6d\a<T(Tav, ws 
Surxi'Atot — and the herd rushed down the declivity into the sea, 
about two thousand {of them). 

Omit Ijaav 5(, and there were, before ws 5«rx^"»» Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BC* DL A I, r/iss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 

Kprjfxvov, a perfectly good Greek word, occurs in the N.T. only 
in the parallel Synoptical accounts of this event, and the verbal 
resemblance is an important item in the proof of the interde- 
pendence of the Synoptics. 

w>- hurxCMoi in the reading adopted is in apposition with fj dytkrj 
— the herd, about two thousand {of them). 

14. Kat ot ftoaKOVTd avrovs t<pvyov Kat aTrr'iyyeiXav — And those 
feeding them fled and brought the neivs. 

Kai ol, instead of 01 8e, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDLM A two mss. 
Lat. Vet. Syrr. aurovs, instead of robs x°^P 0V ^ Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
N BCDL A I }, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. I'csh. curT^eiXai', instead of 
dOT}ry«***» Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ABCDKLM II etc. 

ek rr)v 7rdA.11/ Kal tk tow dypou's — to the city and to the farms. 
7rdA.11/ is the city Gergesa (Gerasa) in the neighborhood. 1 dypov's 
denotes the farms or hamlets in the vicinity, kox rjXdov — and 
they came, viz. the inhabitants generally. 

?,\0ov, instead of i^rj\0ov, they came out, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n c 
ABKLMU II* 33, etc. Memph. Hard. 

15. Kat deuypoixTi tov SaLfxovL^ofxevov Kadrjjxtvov Ifxaricrfxivov — and 
they behold the demoniac sitting clothed. Otiopovo-i, they behold, 
expresses the kind of sight directed towards notable objects.- 

1 Si<> on v.i. * See Thay.-Grm. Lex. Synonyms of 6tu>ptlv. 


SaLfiovt^ofxevov is timeless. The temporal relation would be 
expressed by the aor. Sac/xoviaOivTa. 1 Ifxanafxivov — clothed. This 
implies what Lk. states, that the man in his previous state had 
torn his clothes from him. Lk. S 21 . tov eo-^KoVa tov A.eyia>i/a — 
who had the legion. We have already seen how it is implied that 
Mk. accepts the man's account of himself in telling the story of 
the swine. Here he does it expressly, kou ecfyofirjOrjaav — and 
they were frightened. The thought of the miracle alone produced 
this effect. 

16. koI Si-qyrjaravTo — and . . . reported in full, rehearsed. The 
verb denotes the fulness of the account — they went through it 


This is the only case in our Lord's ministry in which his mira- 
cles operated against him in this way, and it is to be accounted 
for by the strange element in this case, the mixture of gain and 
loss in the result. Men welcome a beneficent power, and so we 
find the multitudes following Jesus. But they are repelled from a 
destructive power, and all the more, if it is supernatural. This 
explains the singular treatment, but the infraction of our Lord's 
rule, to use his power only for beneficent purposes, is itself to be 
accounted for. And it enforces the question already raised, if 
this is not one of the cases in which we have to separate between 
the facts and the explanations and inferences of the Evangelists. 
The facts are the cure of the man and the destruction of the 
swine. But is Jesus responsible for the destruction ? The whole 
idea of possession is beset with serious difficulties, and in this case, 
the substitution of lunacy for possession removes not only these, 
but also this anomaly in the action of Jesus. 

18. i/xfiaivovTos — As he was entering. The present part, de- 
notes action contemporaneous with that of the principal verb. 

i/xfialvouTos, instead of iiifi&vTos, was come, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. « 
ABCDKLM All 1, 33, 124, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

6 Sai/xovLaOds — He who had been possessed with demons. The 
aor. part, denotes a state preceding the action of the principal 
verb. 2 

Lva fxer avrov rj — that he may be with him? 

19. Kat ovk acf>rJK€v avrov — and he did not permit him. 

Kal, instead of 6 3£ Ttjo-oDs, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCKLM An I, 
33, 102, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr. 

1 See Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses, 123. ' l See on rbv ^a^ov^otitvov, v. 16 . 
3 On the use of Lva with subj. after a verb of asking, see Win. 144, 8. Clearly, 
the clause with lva expresses the contents of the petition, not its purpose. 

94 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [V. 19-43 

Kai a7rayy«A.ov ocra 6 Kvptos cot Treiroir)Ktv — and report how 
much the Lord hath done for thee. 

airdyyeiXov, instead of avdyyeiXop, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. xBCA etc. 
ireTroirjKev, instead of iirolrjae, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCL II etc. 

This command, the exact opposite of the injunction of secrecy 
usually enforced by Jesus, is due to the fact that this was a region 
not frequented by him, and in which, therefore, the ordinary 
reasons for such silence were inoperative. His enemies were not 
here, nor his injudicious friends, nor the people to be blinded by 
his miracles to his more spiritual work. But it was a region rarely 
visited by him, and out of which he himself had just been driven, 
where therefore the story told by this man would be the only 
message of glad-tidings brought to the people. Moreover, the 
message which Jesus gives him does not concern our Lord him- 
self, but God, to whom 6 Kvpios evidently refers. The effect pro- 
duced would thus be, not a false Messianism, as in Galilee, but a 
sense of God's presence and pity. The demoniac's story would 
counteract the impression made by the destruction of the swine. 
And it would be kept in Decapolis, where it would do no harm, 
and away from the already excited Galilee. 

ocra 6 Kvpto? o-oi 7re7TOLY)K€v, Kai rjXerjve ere — how much the Lord 
hath done for thee, and pitied thee} 

6 Kvpios — is evidently used of God, as neither the man himself 
nor his friends would understand its application to Jesus. And 
besides, this is a case in which Jesus would especially desire to 
call attention to what God had done for him. Lk. says 6 ®eos, 8 s9 . 

20. rfj AcKairoXeL — Decapolis, the ten city district, is the name 
applied to the cities, east of the Jordan, liberated by Pompey from 
Jewish rule, which united in the ten city alliance. These cities 
had been Hellenistic since the Syrian conquest, had been con- 
quered and subjected to Jewish rule by the Maccabees, and were 
finally liberated by Pompey. Schlirer, II. i, 23, 1. 


21-43. Jesus, repelled by the people of Decapolis, returns 
to the western shore of the lake, and there raises the daughter 

1 The translation gives just the slight irregularity of the Greek ; " how much " is 
the object of the first verb ; and an adverb modifying the second, which is pre- 
cisely the double use of oa-a. So Meyer, who calls it zeugmatisch. On the con- 
junction of the perf. and aor., see Win. 272. The perf. suggests the present 
condition as well as the past act, while the aor. denotes only the past action. 


of a synagogue ruler by the name of Jairus. On his way to 
the house of Jairus, he is approached in the crowd by a 
woman with an issue of bloody who is healed at the touch 
of his garment. 

21. cis to irkpav 7raA.1v crvv^x^V — having crossed over to the other 
side, again there was gathered. 

ets to Tripav iraKiv, instead of wdXiv els to irtpav, Tisch. N D mss. of Lat. 
Vet. Syrr. It is more in Mk.'s manner to connect irdXiv with o~vi>^x^V' 

kolI rjv Trapa rr)v 6a\a(ro~av — And he was by the sea. According 
to Mt., Jairus came to Jesus while he was in the house. He places 
the events after the crossing of the lake in the following order : 
first, the healing of the paralytic, and the dispute about forgiveness 
of sins ; then, the call of Matthew ; then, the question of John's 
disciples about fasting ; and then, while he was saying these things, 
the coming of Jairus. And these events are connected all the way 
through by marks of time, fixing the chronological connection. 
Mt. 9 1 - 18 . 

22. Kat tfpxertn ets twv dp^io-waywycov ' — And there comes one of 
the synagogue- rulers. 

Omit Idov before epxerai, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 102, mss. of 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 

According to Schurer, the dpx lo "wdya>yos is to be distinguished 
from the apx^v, the officer having general direction of the affairs 
of the synagogue ; and he is not an official conducting the worship, 
for which no special appointment was made ; but he is the officer 
entrusted with the care of public worship, including the appoint- 
ment of readers and preachers. Mt. calls Jairus an apx^v, an d 
Lk. uses the two names interchangeably, which is explained 
by the fact, that the two offices, though distinct, might be com- 
bined in one person. Generally, there was only one dpx to "wdy(oyos 
in each synagogue, and eU twv apxio-vvayuyoiv may mean one of 
the class simply. S. Schurer, II. 2. 27. 

23. 7rapaKaAet — beseeches. 

irapaicaXei, instead of Trape/cdXei, besought, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ACL 
33, etc. 

«?X« icrxdrais — is at the point of death? 

Mt. says apn ireXevT-qo-ev, just died, evidently confounding this 

1 apxKrvvayajYo? is found in profane writings only in Inscriptions. 

2 eo-xarws is found in the N.T. only here. Its use to denote at the point of death, 
in extremis, is condemned by Atticists. See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

g6 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [V. 23-25 

with the message brought later by members of his household. Lk. 
says aTrcOvrjo-Kev, was dying. Iva iXOiov 1-jnOrjs — that you may come 
and lay} Iva <ra)6r} Kal ^WV — inai sne ma y ^ e sa i' e d an d live- 

'iva <r<j)6rj Kal tr/vy, instead of 6irus . . . tfo-erai, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
x BCDL A 13, 69, 346, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

24. rjKoXovQzi . . . (o^Xos) . . ., Kal crvvWXifiov — a crowd fol- 
lowed, and they pressed? 


There is a peculiar turn given to this story by the statement of 
Mk. and Lk. that Jesus recognized that power had gone forth from 
him. Mt. treats it as an ordinary miracle, in which Jesus con- 
sciously exercises his healing power. But Mk. and Lk. represent 
it as a miracle in which the woman herself, unknown to Jesus, 
draws upon his healing power, and Jesus knows it only by the 
departure of the power, of which he becomes conscious as he 
would be of any bodily change happening to him. It would seem 
that this is a case in which the miracle was performed directly by 
God, without the intervention of Jesus, of which Jesus becomes 
aware by the touch of the woman, but not by the loss of power. 
This makes an opening, as Mt.'s account does not, for the expla- 
nation of Mk. and Lk. The fact for which they try to make way 
in their account is the cure of the woman without the intervention 
of Jesus. But here again, we have to distinguish between the fact 
which they preserve for us, and their explanation, arising from 
reflection on the fact. The one is a matter of testimony, and the 
other of judgment. 

25. Kat ywrj ovou — And a woman being. 

Omit Tis, a certain, before otiaa, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCL A mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Harcl. 

ovaa iv pvcrct at/xaros lr-q StoSexa — being in an issue of blood 
tiuelve years? There is nothing in the language, which is quite 

1 This is explained by Win. as a weakened form of imp. 43, 5 a. My prayer is, 
that you may come. On the laying on of hands, see on i 41 . 

2 ovvidkifiov is found in the N.T. only in this passage. The change from the 
sing. T)Ko\ov9ei to the plur. is due to the crowding being thought of, not as the act 
of the crowd collectively, but individually. 

8 The prep, denotes the state of the woman. The pres. part. o5<ra is used here 
of a past state continuing into the present, a temporal relation properly expressed 
by the perf. Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses, 131 c. 


general, not technical, to denote the nature of this hemorrhage, 
but it was probably menstrual. 

26. 7roAAa iraQovcra viro iroXk.<jiv larpuiv — having suffered many 
things at the hands of ma?iy physicians. 1 oWav^auo-a ra Trap' eav- 
Trjs TravTa — having spent all that she had. 2 

(xrjSlv u><pc\r)0e2o-a — seeing that she was no way benefited? /x^Sev 
is used, instead of ovBlv, because of the writer's way of conceiving 
what is nevertheless stated as a fact. He is giving here not only 
the facts, but the facts as they lay in the woman's mind and 
became her reasons for coming to Jesus. He suggests that she 
knew all this, and reasoned it out this way, and this subjective 
view is implied in the use of (xrj&h. Win. 55, g, /?. 

27. aKovaaaa ra -rrepl '1y)(tov — having heard the things concerning 

tA is inserted before irtpi by Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n* BC* A 

The things concerning Jesus were the reports of his miracles. 
So far, the participles have denoted the particulars of the woman's 
state, previous to her coming to Jesus, and this identity of relation 
has led to the use of kcu or dAAa to connect them. Now, the narra- 
tive passes over to a new relation, and the conjunction is dropped. 
eXOovaa — having come. Here, the long line of participles ceases to 
be elegant, and should have been replaced by -rjkOe koL, she came 

28. "Oti lav axpuipuai k&v tujv IpxiTiuv — If I touch his garments 
only. 4 

eav a\f/(i) k&u tuv 1/j.a.Tiuv, instead of kcLv tuv ifiarluv . . . a^/ufiai, 
Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. N BCL A etc. 

The woman seeks to be cured in this surreptitious way because 
of her uncleanness. 5 

29. eyvw to> ceo/Aon — she knew in her body. The changed 
condition, like the disease itself, would make itself known physi- 
cally, otl carat, <x7ro tt}s /Acurriyos — that she has been healed of the 

1 vnb differs from in-6 in such cases as denoting under, or at the hands of, an effi- 
cient cause, while <x7rb means merely from, an occasional cause. Win. 47 b. p. 364, 
368, Thayer's Translation. 

2 nap eavrrj? is a case of attraction, the prep, taking the gen. after it, instead of 
the dat., as if it were connected with 8a.Travrjaa.o-a. See Win. 47 £. 66, 6. 

3 On the absurd medical treatment of such cases, see Geikie, Life of Christ, 
chap. 42. 

4 Literally, if I touch if even his garments. It is a case of condensed structure, 
with Snj/uiixai repeated after kS.v, understood, on introduces a direct quotation. In 
translating the clause, only or even belongs with garments, not with touch. — If 1 
touch his garments only. 

5 See Lev. 1525-27. 


98 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [V. 29-34 

scourge} [xdo-rii; is used in Greek writers to denote any calamity 
providentially, a [xolo-tlZ Oeov. But the providential view does not 
appear in the N.T. use, but only a figurative designation of the 
effect of disease. 

30. iv eat'TO) — in himself. Denotes the inwardness of his 
knowledge, proceeding from his own feelings, not from his 
knowledge of what the woman had done. This feeling is where 
Jesus' knowledge of the facts began, and signifies that he had no 
conscious part in the miracle. Also the expression rrjv i£ avrov 
Svvafxtv i£e\6ovo-av, the power gone out from him, indicates that the 
writer conceives of the cure as effected not by the conscious exer- 
cise of power by Jesus, but by power that went out from him 
involuntarily, and of which he became conscious only afterwards. 
Lk. relates the story from the same point of view. Mt. tells us 
that the woman expected to be cured in that way, but that Jesus 
felt the touch, and sought the woman out, after which the miracle 
proceeded in the ordinary way. It is possible that the cure took 
place without Jesus' intervention, but by a direct Divine act, as in 
the other cases in which the throng about him sought to touch 
even the hem of his garment, and as many as touched were healed. 
Only, in this case, Jesus knew in some way that there had been a 
touch on him different from that of the crowd, and chose to trace 
it and bring himself into personal contact with the person from 
whom it proceeded, instead of allowing it to remain in the imper- 
sonal form which was necessary in the case of numbers doing the 
same thing. This has been interpreted by Mk. and Lk. into a 
miracle done not by Divine intervention, but coming from a spring 
of power in Jesus, which could be drawn on, but not without his 
feeling the efflux, the loss of power. While Mt. has reduced it to 
a miracle of the ordinary kind. 

32. ty)v tovto iroi-qa-aa-av — her who did this. This is anticipat- 
ing the result of his search. Jesus was ignorant who had done it, 
and so of course, whether it was man or woman. 

33. <f>ofir)6tu(Ta k. rpe/xovcra — the aor. pass., denoting a past act, 
and the pres., denoting a present state ; having been frightened and 

34. v-n-aye eU elprjvrjv — go in health. An exact translation of 
the Heb. Diu?'? "^b, the salutation used by them in saying fare- 
well, dorjvq does not have its Greek meaning, peace, but one 
imported directly from the Heb., general wellbeing, or in this case, 
health. This is the primary meaning of the Heb. word, and peace 
only a secondary meaning, whereas peace is the only meaning of 
the Greek word. Our version translates it always peace, which is 

1 larai is a perfect pass, of the deponent verb iao/ucu, which has a passive signi- 
fication in the perf., aor. pass., and x fut. 


koX io-0i vyirjs — and be well. This must not be taken to mean 
that the cure was performed now for the first time, as everything 
in the story points to the fact that the cure was effected when she 
touched Jesus, v. 29 . 


This is the only case of raising of the dead related by all the 
Synoptics. Only Lk. tells of the case at Nain, 7 11 " 17 . The words, 
she did not die, but sleeps, lend themselves so readily to the sup- 
position that this was not a case of raising the dead, that it is no 
wonder that they have been so used. Beyschlag treats it as a case 
in which the state ordinarily called death has been reached, but 
in which there has been no final separation of soul and body, so 
that there is a possibility of awakening, which there would not be, 
if the connection between the two had been actually severed. 
Holtzmann treats the language more rudely as a contradiction 
within the story itself of its miraculous intention. Everything 
else in the three accounts favors the hypothesis of death. The 
announcement in Mt. is that the child is dead, in Mk. and Lk., 
that she is dying, and later, that she is dead. Lk. says that they 
knew her to be dead, an expression which is inappropriate, if it was 
their mistaken supposition. And Jesus signifies his sense of the 
momentousness of the occasion by taking with him only the three, 
a selection reserved for the critical periods of his life. On the 
other hand, the explanation of Jesus' words, which makes she did 
not die, but sleeps mean that this was not an ordinary case of 
death, though really death \ but resembling sleep, since the child 
was to be raised, does not seem quite adequate. And Beyschlag's 
explanation is worthy of serious consideration. But it is purely an 
exegetical consideration. His general objection to miracles of 
resurrection is a question by itself, and the theory of miracles to 
which it belongs discredits many of Jesus' miracles without suffi- 
cient reason. He attributes the genuine cases to the immense 
influence of Jesus' personality on other men, with its reaction on 
the body, and of course excludes all miracles on nature, and of 
actual reanimation of a dead body. When once the soul and body 
are finally severed, the possibility of reanimation ceases. Mean- 
time, it seems quite certain that the narratives themselves treat 
this as a case of raising the dead. 

100 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [V. 35-39 

35. epxovrai oltto tov apx^o-vvayoiyov — they co?ne from the syna- 
gogue's ruler's house. The Greek says from the synagogue ruler, 
but he was with Jesus, and they bring the message to him. 

on 7j Ovydrrjp aov a.7rWave ' rl tri crKvXXeis rbv tkSao-KoAov ; — thy 
daughter has died; why troubles t thou the teacher further? 1 

36. 'Irjo-ovs 7rapaKovaa<s — Jestis having overheard, i.e. heard 
what was not addressed to him. 

Omit evdtws before irapaKovvas, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A I, 28, 
40, 209, 225, 271, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. etc. irapaKov<ras, 
instead of aKowas, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. a* etcb BL A one ms. Lat. Vet. 

fxovov Trio-revc — In accordance with the ordinary use of the 
present imp., this means, hold on to your faith, do not lose it. 2 

37. fxer avrov avvaKoXovOrjaaL — Literally, to accompany with 
him. The ordinary construction is the dat. 

/act' avrov, instead of airy, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCL A one ms. 
Lat. Vet. Pesh. 

Uerpov, k. Ta/co>/?ov, k. Twai/viyv — The prominence here given to 
these three is repeated at the Transfiguration and in Gethsemane 
(9 2 14 33 ). The reason for admitting only these in this case is the 
same which led him to enjoin secrecy in regard to his miracles 
generally, but which is enhanced by the extraordinary nature of 
this miracle. His miracles generally earned him an undesired 
notoriety, but this would startle even one accustomed to them, and 
would excite a furor among the people. Note on i 45 . 

38. Kal Zpypvrai . . . Kal ^ecopet OopvjSov kcu KXatovra? — and 
they come . . . and he sees a c?vwd and persons weeping. 

ipxovrai, instead of epxerat, he comes, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ABCDFA 
1 , 33, some mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. koX before Kkalovras, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. n ABCLMU An mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Syrr. 

dAa\a£ovTas — wailing, is an onomatopoetic word, coming from 
d\aXd, a cry uttered originally by soldiers going into battle, but 
afterwards adapted to other cries expressing various feelings. 
Elsewhere, in the N.T., it is used only in 1 Cor. 13 1 , to denote 
the clanging of a cymbal. It is used very appropriately of the 
monotonous wail of hired mourners. 

39. Tt 6opv(3zi(jde. koL KXaUre; — Why do you make a tumult and 
weep ? Mt. also speaks of the crowd as 6opvftovp,evov, and intro- 
duces av\7jTd<;, flute-players. There was the exaggerated noise 
and ostentation of hired mourners. 

1 o-Kv'AAei? means properly to flay, and is used in the weakened sense, to trouble, 
only in the Biblical and still later Greek. In the N.T. it is a rare word, and its 
use here and in the parallel passage, Lk. 8 49 , is one of the strong indications that 
the Synoptical Gospels are interdependent. 2 See Win. 43, 3 b. 


to iraihlov ovk avriOavtv, dAAa KaOvuZu — the child did not die, but 
sleeps. This may be said from the standpoint of Jesus, who 
knows that she is to be raised, so turning her death into sleep. 
But see note at beginning of paragraph. 

kcu KarcyeAwv avrov — and they laughed him down. They under- 
stood him literally, and Lk. says that they knew the child to be 

40. avros Se iK(3a\iov navTa? — but he, having put out all. 

airds W, instead of 6 5£, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 33,Lat. Vet. 
except one ms. Vulg. Memph. 

KaX rovs fX€T avrov — and those with him, viz. Peter, James, and 

o7rov tjv to 7rcuoYov — where the child was. 

Omit dvaKei/xevov, tying, after ircuSLov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 
102, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

41. TaA.i0a, Kovfx — Maiden, arise. TaXtOd is the Chaldaic 
Krrbtp, fern, of K'bp, a youth. Kovfx is the Heb. imp. Dip. kovjxl 
of the TR. is the proper fern. form, kov/j. is the masc. used as an 
interjection. The language of Jesus reproduced here is an indi- 
cation that he spoke in Aramaic, the language of Palestine at the 

Kovfi (Kovfx, Treg.), Tisch. WH. n BCLM i, 33, 271, one ms. Lat. Vet. 
iyeipe, instead of fyeipai, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDL An etc. 

To Kopaanov — Maiden} 

42. rjv yap irwv SwSeKa — for she was twelve years old. This is 
introduced to explain the walking, nothing having been said about 
her age before. iiiarrrjcrav cvdvs cKO-racret fitydXr) — they were 
amazed immediately with a great amazement? 

evdds after i^<XTrj<rav, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n BCL A 33, 

43. Sieo-ra'AaTo — he commanded? Iva. firjSeU yvdi — that no one 

ypoT, instead of yv$, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BDL. 

Weiss contends that the words of Jesus, maiden, arise, do not 
mean that she is to awake from the sleep of death, but that the 

1 In the earlier writers, this word is used disparagingly, belonging, as it does, 
only to colloquial speech. It is a rare word in the N.T., and its use here and in 
the parallel account, Mt. q 24 , points in the same direction as the use of <r/cv'AAei?, 
v. 85 . 

2 This is a weakened sense of both noun and verb, which denote the actual 
putting one out of his senses, beside himself, and it belongs to later Greek. On 
the use of the dat. akin to the ace. of kindred signification, see Win. 32, 2, at end. 

3 The nearest approach to this meaning in earlier Greek is to decide or deter- 
mine. This meaning belongs in the main to Biblical Greek. 


maiden already raised from the dead by the power of God, is to 
rise from her couch. But this is pure assumption, there being 
nothing in common linguistic usage to justify this distinction. 
And it leaves out of sight the plain fact that the words of Jesus on 
such occasions are the signal for the performance of the miracle. 
Weiss is theory-bound in his treatment of the miracles. 


VI. 1-6. Jesus visits Nazareth, and teaches in the syna- 
gogue. His countrymen express their surprise at the wis- 
dom and power displayed by one so obscure in his origin, 
and Jesus is prevented by their unbelief from the tisual 
exercise of his healing gifts. 

1. Kat i£r}\0ev UtLOcv — And he went out thence. With these 
words Mk. connects this visit with the events of the preceding 

Mt. places this visit after the parables, saying expressly that it 
was after he had ended these parables 1 (i3 34-58 ). Lk. tells us of a 
visit to Nazareth at the beginning of his ministry, 4 16 " 30 , in which 
Jesus quotes the same parable as in this visit, of the prophet not 
without honor except in his own country. And the position in 
which he places this rejection at the beginning of the ministry in 
Galilee, and just before the record of the beginning of Jesus' resi- 
dence in Capernaum, seems to indicate a connection between 
these events in the author's mind. However, Lk. inserts in v. 23 
a reference to works done in Capernaum, which is inconsistent 
with the place which he assigns to the visit, previous to the set- 
tlement in Capernaum. Mt. also notes the leaving Nazareth and 
settling in Capernaum, but places this present event after the par- 
ables. The accounts cannot be harmonized, except on the suppo- 
sition of a repetition of the visit to Nazareth, and his rejection 
there. It is easy enough to suppose that Jesus visited his family 
several times, and met this ungracious reception at the hands of 
his countrymen, but it is also quite evident that the Evangelists 
have got hold of one story, marked by the same details through- 
out, and have placed this one rejection in different parts of the 
Gospel. Two things are evident in regard to the chronological 
arrangement of the Gospels ; first, that the Evangelists intended 

1 See Note on Relation of Synoptical Accounts at beginning of ch. 5, for the 
place of the parables in Mt.'s account. And notice how Mt. thus connects the 
visit to Nazareth with the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, which Mk. and Lk. 
put at the beginning of the Galilean ministry, while Mt., though connecting the 
two events as they do, puts them both at a late period. 


to make such an arrangement, and secondly, that their several 
arrangements do not always agree. 

ttjv irarpiha avrov — his own country. Nazareth is the place 
meant, the residence of his family, and where he had lived him- 
self up to the beginning of his public ministry. 

epxcToi comes, instead of f)\dev came, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCLD 
Hard. marg. 

2. rjpiaro SiSdcrKeiv iv rrj avvayuiyrj. There was no regularly 
appointed person to perform this office in the synagogue, but the 
dpxi-o-vvdytoyos might select any one to read the lessons and to 
preach. 1 If any Rabbi was present, they would avail themselves 
of him for the purpose. Jesus used this opportunity as long as 
it was open to him, but he seems to have been denied the syna- 
gogue after a time. 

kch ol -rroXXol aKovovres — and the many hearing him. 

Insert ol before ttoMoi, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. marg. BL 13, 28, 

The many means here the multitude, ail except a few. 2 
UoOev TovTio ravra ; — Whence to this man these things ? The 
demonstratives bring into sharp contrast the man and the things 
done by him ; this man of whom we know everything and nothing 
great, and these wonderful things. The same thing is repeated in 
the next clause, where touto> replaces avrw in the Crit. text. They 
imply by their question, which is evidently contemptuous in its 
tone, that these things are unaccountable, and their inference is j 
not creditable to him, as it might easily be, from such facts. 
They reason that anything legitimate of this kind would have shown 
itself in his early life, kcu Swa/xeis Toiavrai . . . ytvofxevat. With this \ 
reading, the question in this v. resolves itself into three, or rather 
two questions and an exclamation. The substitution of the parti- 
ciple yivofxevai for the verb in the last part makes it an exclamation. 
The picture is of several groups of objectors, of which one throws 
out the sneer, " Whence to this one these things ? " another takes 
it up in the same tone, " And what is the wisdom given to this 
one ? " and a third exclaims, "And such miracles done through his 

Tovry, instead of avrip, after 8ode'i<ra, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 
Memph. (most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. HIV). Omit 8n before kcu Svvd/xeis 
n*«*c ABC 2 EFGHLMSUV A 1, 13, 28, 33, 69, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 
yivo/xevcu, instead of yivovrcn, Treg. WH. RV. n* etc BL A 33, mss. Lat. 
Vet. Memph. 

3. 6 t€kto)v — the wood-worker. Mt. says 6 tov tcktovos mo?, — 
the son of the carpenter, 13 55 . The word t«kto>v, which is found in 

1 See Note on apx^wayuyos, 5 22 . 2 See Win. 18, 3, end of section. 

104 THE G0S pE L OF MARK [VI. 3, 4 

the N.T. only in these two parallel passages, means any worker in 
wood, rarely in any other substance. 6 vio? rrjs Mapias — the son 
of Mary. The dropping out of Joseph in the gospel narrative 
probably indicates his death before this time of Jesus' ministry. 
kcu dScA<£o? — and brother. On the nature of this relation, see on 
3 18 . It should be added, in proof of the improbability that these 
dSeA<£ot were anything else than brothers of Jesus, that Lk. 2 7 
speaks of Jesus as the first-born son. There is no more baseless, 
nor for that matter, prejudiced theory, in the whole range of Bibli- 
cal study, than that which makes Jesus the only child of Mary. 

koX d5eX06s, instead of d5e\0os U, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 
one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

€<TKavoaA.i£ovTo iv avr(2 — they were made to stumble in him, pre- 
vented from proper action by what they saw in him. On the 
meaning of the verb, see on 4 17 . The prep, denotes the person 
in whom the stumbling block is found. But its use in such a con- 
nection is unusual in Greek. And the repetition of the exact 
language in Mt. 13 57 furnishes another item in the linguistic proof 
of the interdependence of the Synoptical Gospels. 

4. Kat eXeyev avToh 6 'Irjcrovs — And Jesus said to them. 

Kai £\6Ye», instead of HXeyev 5*, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 33, 
most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 

7rpo<j>rJTr)s — a prophet. The word means in classical Greek an 
interpreter of the gods, or of their oracles, and then in general, a 
seer. In the Biblical usage, it denotes an inspired teacher. 

(Tvyycvevaiv — kinsmen. 1 

avyyevevaip, instead of (rvyyei>{<ri, Tisch. Treg. WH. B* D' J EFGHLUV 
A I, 33, 69, 124, 209, 262, 271, 346. Insert avrov after crvyyevevtrip, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. BC* KLM 2 (A eavrov) 28, 71, 218, 235, most mss. Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr. 

This proverb has various forms, among them the one stating the 
principle on which they are all based, being Familiarity bi-eeds con- 
te?npt. It applies exactly to the case of our Lord at Nazareth, 
where he was brought up, and in that early private life showed no 
signs of the supernatural powers of his public ministry. There is 
always some difference that separates public from private life, a 
man not being called upon for the same exercise of his powers in 
the one as in the other. And to the unthinking person, this is a 
defect, because it seems to indicate something unreal, put on for 
the occasion, in the greatness of the man in whom it appears. 
And of course, if there is any real descent, the charge is true. 
But in the case of our Lord, there was only the difference that 

1 " A barbarous declension," Thay.-Grm. Lex. 


naturally belongs to the difference of the two spheres. In the 
same way, a statesman does not continually air his wisdom in 
private, which may be a sign of his greatness. 

5. ovk iSvvaro — he could not. Of course, this was a moral 
inability. Jesus required faith for the performance of his mira- 
cles, and that was wanting here ; nay, there was a positive dis- 
belief, no mere doubt. He found elsewhere a poor wavering 
faith, but not enough lack to hinder his work of physical healing, 
though it kept him out of men's souls. But here the general 
unbelief of the nation reached its climax, and prevented even this 
one good that his countrymen generally permitted him to do 

el /xr) iOepdirevae — except that he healed} dppworrois — ■ sick folk 
EV. 2 

6. iOavfjuicrev Sia r-qv cwnori'av avraiv — he marvelled at their 

idavixcurev, instead of idavnafr, Tisch. WH. N BE*. 

Jesus' wonder was a part of his humanity. He had a wonder- 
ful intuitive knowledge of men, and his proverb shows that he 
traced this unbelief to its source ; he could account for it, that is 
to say : but it exceeded his expectations, and excited his wonder. 

irepirjye ras Kufxas — he went round about the villages. Jesus 
had left Capernaum for a time, and being rebuffed at Nazareth, 
he does not return to the former place, but makes a tour of the 
villages about Nazareth. 


7-13. Jesus sends out the twelve to aid him in his more 
extended work. His instructions to them. 

Jesus is now engaged in one of those journeys through Galilee, 
in which he branches out from his more restricted work in the 
neighborhood of Capernaum, and instead of keeping the twelve 
with him after his ordinary custom, he sends them out in groups 
of two to help him in his work of proclaiming the kingdom, and 
preaching repentance, and healing the sick. His instructions, 
which are evidently practical in their nature, not ascetic, nor 

1 The regular construction would requiie the inf. here, this verb being in the 
same construction as Troi^o-at, and not 

2 This is exactly our word invalid, or infirm. 

f Sta Trjv i.iTi.o-Tiav is an unusual construction with iOavixaaev, in fact, the only case 
of it in the N.T. (It seems quite improbable, both from the position and from the 
course of thought, that S16. tovto in J. 7 22 , belongs with v. 21 .) 


involving any important principle, are that they should not encum- 
ber themselves with any unnecessary outfit, nor spend their time 
in finding better entertainment than that which first offers itself in 
any place that they enter. 

7. Kal Trpoo-KaXtiTaL tovs SwSckci — This statement belongs imme- 
diately with the preceding irepirjye ras Kw/xas kvkAu) SiSao-Ktov. Evi- 
dently, this mission of the twelve is for the purposes of this wider 
work undertaken by him. In this going around from place to 
place, this attempt to cover more ground than usual, he calls in 
the aid of his disciples, tjp&to airocrTiXkuv — Since the appoint- 
ment of the apostles, this is the first mention of such a general 
circuit as this, and hence this is designated as the beginning of 
Jesus' sending them forth. So Meyer and others. M'>rison treats 
it as an idiosyncrasy of Mark's, a part of his vividness of style. 
And I am inclined to agree with him, that the general use of this 
verb in the Gospels is periphrastic and peculiar, many of the 
cases not yielding to treatment. But it is not peculiar to Mk., 
and this is a case in which there is evidently a. beginning pointed 

Bvo Bvo — two by two} l^ovo~iav r. irvtopLarw tuv aKaddproiv 

— authority over the unclean spirits. This is to Mk. the repre- 
sentative miracle, being mentioned by him frequently as if it were 
by itself, where it is evident that it must have been accompanied 
by other miracles. See i 39 3 15 , Tex. Crit. It was so accompanied 
in this case. See v. 13 

8. €i fxrj pdfiBov p.6vov — This was to be the only addition to 
their home outfit, the only thing that they were to take for the 
road. Mt. and Lk. do not make this exception, but expressly 
include the stick among the prohibited things, fxrj aprov, w -m^pav 

— no bread, no wallet (or haversack). This order, adopted by 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. is the natural order. The words belong 
together, as do t,<!ivqv and x^kw. -n-rjpav is a leather sack, haver- 
sack, used to carry provisions, ^v-qv is the girdle or belt, in 
which they carried money. yaXttov means brass, or copper, and 
secondarily, money of any kind. 

Aprov fxrj ir-qpav, instead of wfipav p.ij Aprov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n 
BCL A 33, Memph. 

9. v-n-oSeSefievovs — The participle is put in the ace. as if to agree 
with a preceding ace. with an inf. The command to wear san- 
dals seems superfluous, but it is really a part of the injunction 
against any luxury in their outfit, being contrasted with shoes pro- 
tecting the upper part of the feet as well as the soles. There is 

1 Svo &vo — is a Hebrew fashion of expressing the distributive idea, where the 
Greeks would say avi or Kara Svo. 


no contradiction between this and the command not to buy san- 
dals for the journey, Mt. io 9 , the latter being directed against the 
purchase of extra sandals over and above what they were wearing. 
But, while there is no contradiction, there is a difference ; they 
are two orders about this same matter of sandals. All that we 
can gather about it is, that Jesus gave some direction about san- 
dals in connection with the general direction for simplicity of 
equipment, of which the several Gospels have preserved different 
accounts, /xr} ivSvarjo-Oe Svo ^troivas — do not wear two tunics} 
Mt. and Lk. say that they were not to have or provide two tunics. 
But this forbids their wearing two, referring to a custom of dress 
belonging to persons of distinction, who wore two x L ™vas, an 
inner and an outer. See Bib. Die, article Dress, and Die. of 
Antiq., article Tunica. In general, these directions are against 
luxury in their equipment, and also against their providing them- 
selves with what they could procure from the hospitality of others. 
Evidently, if they took no food and no money, this dependence 
on others would be their only resort. See Mt. io 10 . 

Treg. marg. WH. read ev8vo-a<r$ai, which is also the reading of Beza 
and Elzevir, with B 2 S II *. L and some others read iv8e8vtrdai. Improba- 
ble and unsupported. 

10. €Ket . . . iKdOev — there . . . thence. The first of these 
refers to oi/a'av in the preceding, and the second to oVov. They 
were to remain in the one house until they left the place. This 
injunction is directed evidently against a restless and dissatisfied 
changing from one house to another. They were to be satisfied 
with the hospitality offered them. See Lk. io 7 . 

11. os av T07ros fir) Siirjrai, firjBe olkovo-umtiv — With this reading, 
the subject changes in the second clause, so that it reads, " what- 
ever place does not receive you, and they do not hear you" 

os hv t6ttos fxr] Si^rjrai, instead of 8<tol hv fir) S^uvrac, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. N BL AS* 13, 28, 69, 124, 346, Memph. Hard. marg. 

iKTLvdiare rbv x°vv — This was a symbolical act, signifying that 
the actor considered even the dust of the place as defiling. See 
Lk. io 11 . els fiaprvpiov o-vtois — for a testimony unto them, not 
against them. It was to testify to the men themselves what the 
act signifies, viz. that these heralds of the Kingdom of God shook 
off all association with them as defiling. The rest of the verse is 
to be omitted. It is evidently copied from Mt. io 15 . 

Omit afxr]v \tyw v/juv, Verily I say unto you, to end of verse, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BCDL A 17, 28, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

1 On this change from the indirect to direct discourse, see Win. 63, II. 2. The 
RV. indicates the change of structure by inserting said he. And the change in 
va-oSeSe/Lievovs by inserting to go. 

108 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [VI. 12-14 

12. lKrjpvt,av iva fxcravoSxnv — they made proclamation that men 
should repent. On the meaning of the verbs, see on i 4 . Iva. with 
the subj. denotes the contents of their proclamation, the same as 
the inf., not its purpose. See Win. 44, 8, a. 1 

iKtpvfrv, instead of ^pvaaov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A Pesh. 
Hard. marg. 

13. rj\a<pov i\at<a — they anointed with oil. This is the only 
place in the N.T., except James 5 14 , in which anointing and healing 
are mentioned together. Anointing was a frequent specific, how- 
ever, in ordinary medical treatment, and this would suggest its use 
in the symbolism of supernatural healing. appuo-Tovs — this word 
occurs only four times in the N.T., and two of these, the only ones 
in Mk., are this and v. 5 In this account of what the disciples 
did, we have the purpose of their mission, which is only implied 


14-16. Herod hears of the miracles performed by the dis- 
ciples, and explains them by the supposition that Jesus is 
John the Baptist, whom he has beheaded, and who has risen 
from the dead. 

Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, from his residence at 
Tiberias on the southern shore of the lake, would not hear much 
of Jesus. Our Lord never went there himself, owing probably to 
the unsympathetic attitude of the court, and its corrupting influ- 
ence on the Jewish element of the population. 2 But it is possible 
that the disciples, in this more extended tour, had come near 
enough to attract the attention of Herod, who was usually careless 
of the religious, or even of the possible political aspects of Jesus' 
work. And the king, so called by courtesy, conscious stricken by 
his execution of John the Baptist, thinks that these miracles of 
which he hears are the work of the resurrected prophet. 

14. rJKovorev — the object of this verb is evidently the things just 
narrated, the work accomplished by the twelve. <pavepbv yap 
iytvcro to ovopa — this explains the preceding statement, showing 
how the works of the disciples led to these conjectures of Herod 
and others in regard to Jesus himself. Jesus became known 

1 Morison makes a curious mistake in supposing that the aor. subj. of the TR. 
means might, while the pres. sub. means may. This difference is expressed in 
Greek by a change of moods, not of tenses. ' 2 See Schiirer, II. I. 23, 33. 


through the works of his disciples, and hence Herod found it 
necessary to account for him in some way. 

The Herod who beheaded John was Herod Antipas, son of 
Herod the Great and Malthace, and in the partition of his father's 
kingdom, he was made tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea. 1 

Kal IA.eyev ort 'Icoavv^s . . . lyqyeprat i< veKpojv — and he said 
that John . . . has risen from the dead. 

Kcu eXeyov, and they said, Treg. marg. WH. RV. marg. BD 6, 271 mss. 
of Lat. Vet. Improbable, as it makes Herod take up a common rumor, 
v. 16 , whereas it is evident that this strange conjecture started with the 
king's conscience, iyfaeprai etc veicp&v, instead of e< venpup jjyipfq, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 33, Latt. Memph. Pesh. 

Herod's superstition and his guilty conscience raised this ghost 
to plague him. It has been suggested that Herod makes the state- 
ment in regard to John's resurrection in order to account for the 
difference between his natural life, in which he performed no mira- 
cles, and this report of wonderful works. But it seems doubtful 
if Herod went so curiously into the matter as this. Rather, he 
wishes to account for these phenomena, and he does it by attrib- 
uting them to a man who had proved himself so far above mortal 
man by his own resurrection, that any other wonders seemed 
natural for him. ivepyovcrw at 8wa//,eis £v avr<2 — the powers work 
i?i him, are active hi him. In conjunction with a verb like ivepyov- 
<tlv, Swa/xeis returns to its proper meaning of flowers. 

15. "AAA.01 Se c'Aeyoi/ — And others said. 

Insert U after &XX01 Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x ABCDEHKLS AH Latt. 
Memph. Hard. 

'HAtas — Referring to the expectation that Elijah would return 
to the earth before the great day of the Lord (Mai. 4 5 ). 6V1 
Trpo<prjTr)^ ok ets twj/ irpo<pr}TO)v — that it is a flroflhet like one of the 
flroflhets. The words do not express the idea that he was just a 
prophet, like one of the ordinary prophets, in distinction from the 
great prophet Elijah. This would require the idea of ordinariness 
to be more definitely expressed. It is the likeness to the old 
prophets, rather than unlikeness to some special one of them, that 
is meant to be emphasized. We do not need to suppose that these 
different opinions were expressed by people in conversation with 
each other, which would lead us to dwell on the points of con- 
trast. But it is quite probable that they were isolated statements, 
uttered at different times, and brought together here. 

Omit kcrrlv after -wpo^T^, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. « BC* L A 1, 28, 33, 
209. Omit 77, or, before &?, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. s ABCL II mss. Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 

1 On the genealogy of the Herodian family, see Bib. Die. 


16. 6 'HpwoV t\eyev, *Ov iyio d7r£Kc<^aXtcra — Herod said, John, 
whom I beheaded. 

ZXeyev, instead of etirev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 33, one ms. 
Lat. Vet. Omit Srt before 8v, Tisch, Treg. WH. RV. x BDL I, 28, 33, 67, 
124, 209, Latt. Syrr. 

Herod's conjecture does stand in contrast with these others, of 
which he has heard. oV ey^ a7rcKe<pa\io-a — Herod dwells upon 
the thought, that this prophet who has now risen from the dead 
was beheaded by himself. Hence the relative clause, which con- 
tains this statement of the beheading, is placed first and cyw is 

'Iwavi^v, outos riyipO-q — John, this one was raised} 

Omit lanv airbs, after ovros, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N* etc BDL A 69, 
106, 346, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. (Memph.). Omit iic veKp&v, from the dead, 
after vytpBy, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. N BL A ^ i° 2 > Memph. Hier. 

ovtos rjycpOr] — this one was raised. The pronoun, which is not 
necessary to the construction, is introduced in order to continue 
the solemn emphasis of the whole statement. Lk. q 7 " 9 says that 
Herod was perplexed by the report that John had risen from the 
dead, and said, "John I beheaded, but who is this?" exactly 
reversing the positions of Herod and of the other parties to this 
discussion in our account. 


17-29. Mk. tells the story of Johns imprisonment and 
death at the hands of Herod, in order to explain Herod's 
allusion to his beheading of John. 

Mk. has alluded to the fate of the Baptist, and now proceeds to 
tell the story of it. Herod Antipas had been married to a daughter 
of Aretas, king of Arabia, but on a visit to Jerusalem he had become 
enamoured of Herodias, the wife of his disinherited brother, and 
herself a member of the Herodian family, and had contracted an 
adulterous marriage with her. Here is where Mk. takes up the 
story, with John's reproof of this adultery. It incensed Herodias 
especially, and though Herod imprisoned the brave prophet, he 
was so impressed with John's saintliness, and even a sort of super- 
stitious fear of him, that he protected him against his wife's fury. 

1 This is a case of the noun being attracted from the principal into the relative 
clause, and taking its construction. 

VI. 17] FATE OF JOHN 1 1 1 

But Herodias, who was biding her time, took advantage of a birth- 
day feast given by Herod, and sent her daughter to dance before 
the king, and when the gratified king swore to give the girl any- 
thing she might ask, Herodias instructed her to ask for the head 
of John. The king was fairly trapped, and though sorely against 
his will, he sent a soldier and beheaded John in prison. 

Philip, commonly known as Herod, was son of Herod the Great 
and Mariamne, the daughter of the high priest Simon, and was 
disinherited by his father, living as a private citizen in retirement. 
Secular history tells of only one Philip, the tetrarch of Gaulanitis 
and other districts E. of Galilee, and Volkmar and Holtzmann 
contend that the Ew. have confounded him with the disinherited 
brother, who was known only as Herod. Winer, Meyer, Weiss, 
and others answer that there may have been two Philips, as there 
were two Antipaters, especially as they were only half-brothers. 
Herodias was niece of both her husbands, being daughter of 
Aristobulus, another of Herod's sons. It was on the occasion of 
a feast given by Philip to his brothers at Jerusalem, that Antipas 
became enamoured of the beauty of Herodias, and she of his power, 
and they began the intrigue which ended in their adulterous mar- 
riage. Antipas became involved in a war with Aretas, king of 
Arabia, his father-in-law, on account of his desertion of his first 
wife for Herodias. The marital relations of the Herodian family 
were a most extraordinary mixture, though belonging to the gen- 
eral license of the age. This is one of the places where the Gospels 
bring us into contact with the Gentile world, the Herodians being 
Gentile in their extraction and spirit, though nominally Jews in 
their religion, and the note of that Gentile world was open vice 
and profligacy, while of the Jewish leaders it was hypocrisy. 

17-29. 17. Avros yap 'HpwS^s — for Herod himself. avros 
serves to keep up in Mk.'s account the emphasis which Herod 
had put on the eyw, v. 16 . iKparrjae — seized} on avrrjv iydfxrjo-ev 
— for he had married her. This states more particularly the 
connection between Herodias and the imprisonment of John, 
already denoted by Sta 'HpwStaSa. It is an independent statement 
of cause, usually introduced by yap. 2 But strictly, the causal 
conjunction is out of place, except in connection with John's 

1 On the use of the aor. for the plup. in Greek, see Win. 40, 5 a. Burton, 52. 
Both of these, however, fail to account for the infrequency of the plup. in the N.T. 

2 See Burton, 232. 

112 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [VI. 17-20 

rebuke, of which it is the cause, and not of John's imprisonment. 
Properly, this is one of the steps leading up to the imprisonment, 
and would be denoted by a relative clause, 17V iydfxrja-ev. 

18. "EAcye yap 'Iu)dvvr}s — for John had said} "On ovk e£eori 
aoL — it is not lawful for thee. See Lev. 18 16 20 21 . But John 
would emphasize not so much the departure from Jewish law, for 
which Herod had slight regard, but the broader ground of com- 
mon morals. 

19. kv&yzv avTip — AV. had a quarrel against him. But it is 
doubtful if the words had this meaning. It requires the ellipsis 
of tov xo'W to explain it, and it is unusual to leave so specific a 
word to be implied, though the use of tov x^ov with the verb is 
quite frequent. On the other hand, it would be quite common to 
supply a word like tov vovv with the verb, and that would give us 
the meaning, she kept her eye (mind) on him. But the phrase, 
though quite natural, does not seem to occur. A third supposi- 
tion is, that the verb may be used, like the Latin ins to, intransi- 
tively, she followed him up, did not relax hostility against him. On 
the whole, this seems the best rendering. Thay.-Grm. Lex. ko.1 
Tj6e\ev . . . ko.1 ovk rjSvvaTo — and wished . . . and could not. 
This representation, that Herodias was restrained from her ven- 
geance by Herod is not borne out by Mt., who says that Herod 
wished to put John to death, but feared the people (14 5 ). Verse 9 
says that he was grieved by Salome's demand, but this was evi- 
dently, in Mt.'s account, for the same reason, viz. that he feared 
the people. 

20. The statement of Mk. is that John's righteousness made 
Herod afraid, and what John said both perplexed and delighted 
him, so that he preserved him. icpofielTo — feared. The kind of 
fear that Herod had of John is shown by the superstitious idea 
that he had of John's resurrection. The prophet's righteousness 
and holiness made him seem, even to Herod's worldly sense, a 
man of God, and his fear therefore was of the God back of the 
righteous man. koX awcT-qpu avTov — and guarded him, viz. from 
the hostile intentions of Herodias. RV. kept him safe? voXXa 
T]Tr6pu — was much perplexed. The perplexity arose from the 
conflict between his fear of John and his entanglement with Hero- 
dias. koX T^Sews — The peculiarity of the Hebraistic use of ko.1 to 
tie together variously related statements is here curiously exem- 
plified. 3 The gladness with which Herod heard John is the trib- 

1 See Burton, 29. In this case, the impf. contains an element of repeated 
action, not expressed by the plup. We combine both in he had kept saying. 

2 AV. observed him. This comes probably from the meaning keep in mind, but 
it is not a legitimate derivation, nor is the meaning consonant with the context. 
See Morison's Note. Also Meyer. 

3 Win. 53, 3 b. It is to be said, however, that while K ai itself is never strictly 
adversative, it is used to connect statements more or less adverse. Only Kai does 
not express the opposition. 

VI. 20-24] FATE OF JOHN H3 

ute which the moral sense, even in bad men, pays to the truth, 
and to boldness and freshness in the utterance of it. 

iroWa rjiropei, was much perplexed, instead of 7roXX& hrotei, did many 
things, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. n BL Memph. 

21. fi/jLcpas cvKaipov — an opportune day, viz. for Herodias' pur- 
poses. toU yeveo-iW — on his birthday feast This word is used 
in Greek for a service in commemoration of a dead friend, yeve- 
Okia. is the word for a birthday celebration. 1 /xeytcrrao-tv — gran- 
dees. A later Greek word. x l ^ L ° L PX oi ' i — chiliarchs. If we render 
the word literally, it means commander of a thousand, and its 
equivalent in our military phraseology is colonel, rot? 7rp(orots r. 
TaAiAata? — the first men of Galilee. His retainers, and especially 
his military officers, would be foreigners. These would be the 
men of the province. 

4irolr)<rev, instead of iiroiei, after detvpov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL 
A 13, 28,69, I2 4» L att - 

22. rrjs OvyaTpbs avrrj<s t. 'HpwSiaSos — the daughter of Herodias 
herself (RV.). 2 The intensive pronoun is used here because such 
dancing was an almost unprecedented thing for women of rank, 
or even respectability. It was mimetic and licentious, and per- 
formed by professionals, rjpea-ev — it pleased, rather than she 
pleased. The latter would require the subject of the verb to be 
the noun of the preceding gen. abs., a quite unnecessary gram- 
matical irregularity. 

ijpea-ev, instead of /cat dpea-da-t^s, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L 33, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. avrov, instead of airr^s, after dvyarpbs, WH. RV. 
marg. n BDL A 238. This means that it was Herod's daughter Herodias, 
who performed the dance, and involves a curious historical error. But this 
is no reason for rejecting a reading so well attested. Meyer and Tisch. 
slight the evidence. Weiss and Holtzmann condemn it as an exegetical 
impossibility, since Herodias with the art. must be the Herodias of v. 19 . 
But in spite of all this, the reading itself is not to be lightly set aside. 

6 Se /SaatXevs d-rev — and the king said. This reading is neces- 
sary with the change from the part, to the indicative in rjpca-ev. 

6 8k /SocrtXeus eJirev, instead of elireu 6 /3a<rtXei>y, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
NBC* LA 33. 

Kopao-ia) — girl. See on 5 41 . 

23. w/Aoo-ev — he swore. This oath of Herod is the same that 
Ahasuerus made to Queen Esther, the cW iJ/Atb-ovs t. (3a<ri\eia<; pov, 
to the half of my kingdom, being the exact language of the Sept. 
in the O.T. story (Esther 5 36 f). 

24. Kat i$€\6ov<ra — And having gone out. 

1 See Win. 2, 1 d. Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

2 0/ the said Herodias, AV , would require the art. before ain-jj?. 


H4 THE G0SPEL 0F MARK [VI. 25-28 

Kal, instead of 'H dk, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A 33, Memph. 
alrfcuiiat, 1 instead of alr^aofiat, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x ABCDGL A 28, 
33, 124, 346. paTTTitovros, instead of ^awTiarov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BL A 28, Hard. 

25. evOvs fiera <nrovhr}s — immediately with haste. Evidently, 
this haste was lest the king's ardor should cool. She and her 
mother both knew that nothing but the king's oath would make 
him do a thing so contrary to his own desires. This urgency is 
shown also in her request that it be done i&vrrjs, forthwith. 
TTLvaKL — a platter. The word charger used to translate it in the 
EV. is practically absolete in this sense. 

26. 7rept\v7ros yevo/xevo? — the part, is used here concessively, 
though he was grieved, yet. k<u rovs avaKec/xevovq — and those 
reclining at table. 

Omit <rvv — with, in avpavaKeinhovs, reclining with him, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. BC* L A 42, Pesh. 

a6eTr}o-ai avrrjv — to refuse her. The verb belongs to later Greek. 

27. (nrtKovkaropa — this is a Latin word, and means a scout, or 
secondarily, a member of the body-guard. 

(TireKovXaropa, instead of -rupa, a ABL IT I, 108, 124, 131, 157, Hard. 
marg. grk. 

i7T€ra$cv cveyicai — commanded him to bring. 

ivtynou, instead of ivexOv va -h to be brought, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BC 
A etc. 

28. Kat a-TTcXOiov — And having gone out. 

Kal, instead of 6 8e, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BCL A 1, 28, 124, most mss. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. ed. Pesh. 

d7reKe<£cuWev — beheaded, a later Greek word. cpvXaKrj — prison. 
Josephus tells us that John was beheaded in the castle of Machae- 
rus, and as this was one of Herod's favorite resorts, it may well be 
that the feast, which was the occasion of the tragedy, took place 
there. And the whole story is framed on the supposition that the 
prison was near enough to the banquet hall to have the head 
brought immediately. Machaerus was a ridge a mile long, over- 
looking a deep ravine, at one end of which Herod had built a great 
palace, while at the other end was the citadel in which John was 
confined. It was situated at the southern end of Peraea, and east 
of the northern end of the Dead Sea. Some have supposed that 
Tiberias was the scene of both the feast and the execution, and 
others that the feast was there, and the execution at Machaerus. 
But there does not seem to be any sufficient reason for setting 
aside Josephus' testimony about the beheading of John, and in that 
case the narrative favors the supposition that the feast was in the 

1 This is the subj. of deliberative questions, in which advice is asked. 

VI. 28-30] RETURN OF THE TWELVE 1 1 5 

same place. It is a piece of poetic justice that Aretas, the father 
of Herod's rejected wife, made war upon his faithless son-in-law, 
and defeated him, so that Herod was saved only by the interven- 
tion of the Roman Emperor. 

29. TTTWfia — means a fall, or secondarily, something fallen, 
and with veKpov, — a corpse. But the omission of vtKpov in this 
sense belongs to the later Greek. Mt. 14 12 adds to this the state- 
ment that the disciples of John came and told Jesus. 


30-44. Mk. now resumes his narrative of the mission of 
the twelve with an account of their return, and of their 
report to Jesus. On their return, probably to Capernaum, 
they are so beset by the multitude that they have no leisure 
even to eat, and Jesus seeks retirement with them on the 
other side of the lake. But the multitudes see them and 
follow on foot around the head of the lake. Jesus allows 
his compassion to get the better of his original purpose, and 
begins to teach the crowd which he found gathered when he 
landed. It is already late when it is brought to his at ten- 
tion by the apostles, that the multitude, in their eagerness 
to hear him, have failed to provide themselves with food. 
Whereupon, Jesus himself feeds them out of five loaves and 
two fishes which the disciples have brought for themselves. 

30. diroa-ToXoL — it is noticeable that the twelve, who are gener- 
ally called disciples, are here given the name which describes their 
official work instead of their discipleship, and that the occasion, 
the only one in which the name is used in Mk., is one in which 
they were returning from that apostolic work. o<ra i-rroLrjo-av, k. 6Va 
iSiBa$av — whatever they did, and whatever they taught} 

Omit Kai, both, before the first «cra, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDELV 
A 1, 28, 33, 102, 131, Latt. Memph. Pesh. etc. Tisch. omits second 6<ra 
with k * C* I, 271, Latt. It is more in Mk.'s manner to retain the 5<ra. 

kou Xeyei avrots — And he says to them. 

1 See footnote v. 17 . This is one of the cases, where, owing: to the close conjunc- 
tion of this with the principal verb, the absence of the plup. is most marked. But 
in relative clauses, the Greek rarely uses the plup. Win. 40, 5 a, /3. 

1 1 6 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [VI. 31-34 

\tyei, instead of eiirev, said, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 33, etc. 
avoLTraiaaade, 1 instead of avairafeade, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. ABCM A 40, 
69, 108, 238, 346, 435, etc. 

31. vfX€L<; avTol kclt iSidv — you yourselves apart. The language 
is selected to emphasize as much as possible the privacy which 
Jesus wished to secure for them, evxaipovv — This verb belongs to 
the later Greek. It means to have oppo?'tunity or leisure for any- 
thing. As to the occasion of this departure, Mt. gives another 
account. According to him, Jesus took the disciples away to a 
solitary place across the lake when he heard the death of John the 
Baptist. Here, it is to give the disciples rest after their missionary 
journey, which it was impossible for them to get with the multi- 
tudes crowding about them and preventing even their eating. 

evKalpovv, instead of rjvicalpovv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. « ABEFGHLV 
TA, etc. 

32. Kat aTrrjXBov — and they went away. The point of departure 
was probably Capernaum, as it was on the lake, and it would be 
the most likely place for a rendezvous after their journey, a's 
eprj/xov tottov — Lk. says that they went to Bethsaida, meaning the 
city on the east side of the lake. But when he comes to tell the 
story of the feeding of the multitude, he also says that it was a 
desert place (Lk. 9 1012 ). 

33. Kat ctSov avrovs V7rayovras, k. Zyvaxrav ttoWoC — and they 
saw them going, and many knew {them). 

Omit oi 6x^-01, the multitudes, after vir dyovras everything except a few 
cursives, tyvuaav, instead of tirtyvwaav, Treg. WH. B* D I, 118, 209. 
Omit abrbv, him, after eypuxrav Treg. WH. RV. BD 1, 13, 28, 102, 118, 
131, 209, Vulg. Substitute avTotis, Tisch. n AKLMU All two mss. Lat. 
Vet. Memph. Syrr. 

TTclfj — on foot. They went around the head of the lake, and 
crossed the river at some ford. oWSpa/xov — they ran together. 
The prep, describes the coming together of the crowd from the 
many starting-places to the point for which they saw the boat 
heading. 7rporjX.0ov avrovs — outwent them. The verb means 
properly to go forward, to advance, or with the gen. to go before 
another. This use with the ace, meaning to reach a place before 
another, belongs to later Greek. The rest of the verse is to be 

Omit Kal <rvvr)\dop irpbs airiv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BL A 13, Vulg. 


34. Kat Z£e\0iov eToo/ -rroXvv ox^ov — And having come forth, he 
saw a great multitude. The part, refers to the disembarking 
from the boat. J., who is here parallel to the Synoptics for the 
only time between the account of the ministry of the Baptist and 

1 The aor. differs from the pres. imp. here, as denoting beginning, instead of 
continuance. Get rest expresses it. 


the final coming to Jerusalem, says that Jesus spent some time in 
the mountain with his disciples before the multitude came to him. 

Omit 6 Tt/o-oOs after eUev Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL i, 20, 33, 69, 102, 
1 24, 209, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. aurotfy, instead of airois, after &r' Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. n BDF 245, 253, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

€<nr\ayxvL(rOr} — had compassion} 

fir} l^ovra iroLjxiva — pr} is used here, instead of ovk, because it 
denotes Jesus' conception of the people, his thought about them. 
It is the fact, but the fact transferred to his mind. 2 This expres- 
sion is used also by Mt. 9 s6 , in the passage which leads up to the 
account of the appointment of the twelve, and the sending them 
forth to supply the lack. It seems as if this feeling of Jesus 
towards the multitude had somehow impressed itself on the minds 
of the disciples especially at this period of his life, the period just 
preceding the close of the ministry in Galilee. The figure itself 
denotes the lack of spiritual guidance. Then, as always, there 
was no lack of official religious leadership, but the officials, priests 
and rabbis were blind leaders of the blind. Notice also the 
human quality of Jesus' action here. He seeks a quiet place to 
escape from the crowd for a time ; is defeated in his purpose by 
the multitude invading his retreat ; and he yields to their impor- 
tunity and to his own exacting pity. It is a distinctly human 
change of purpose, such as foreknowledge would have prevented, 
and as an attestation of his humanity it brings him blessedly near 
to us. 

35. wpa? iroX\.r}<; yevofievrjs — much time of day having passed. 
The only other instance in the N.T., in which wpa is used to 
denote daytime is the parallel passage in Mt. 14 15 . See Thay.- 
Grm. Lex. 

Tisch. WH. marg. read yivo/xhris, coming to be a late hour, with n D 

ot fjia$r)Tcu avTov ZXeyov — his disciples said. 

6\c7oi', instead of \£yov<riv, say, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A ^, 

€o>7/aos to-Tiv 6 T07TO? — the place is desert; and so there is no place 
here for them to procure food, rfit) wpa iroXXrj — already it is a 
late hour, and so there is short time for them to supply their wants. 
In their haste and eagerness to follow Jesus, they had neglected to 
bring anything with them, and in their absorption in his teaching, 
they had forgotten their ordinary wants. According to J. 6 5 , this 
conversation was started by Jesus. 

36. ayopdaa)crLv eavrols ri ipdywcnv — they may buy for themselves 
somewhat to eat. The subj. is that of a deliberative question. 

1 On the form and meaning of this verb, see on i 41 . 2 See Win. 55, 5^, £. 


Omit Aprovs after ayopaauxriv Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BL A 28, 102, 
mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. yhp and ovk %x ov< * lv a f ter T * are to be omitted on 
substantially the same authority. 

37. Srjvapiiov SiaKocrioiv — two hundred shillings' worth. The 
Revisers do a somewhat curious thing in translating this word 
penny, and then explaining in the margin that it means eight pence 
halfpenny (RV. Mt. 18 28 ). The actual paying power was much 
greater than our shilling, as it represented a day's wages. The 
sum is evidently suggested here as their hasty guess at the amount 
required to purchase a frugal supply for the crowd. It would also 
be a sum quite beyond their means, so that the question is meant 
to imply the absurdity of the whole thing. This question is not 
given in the other Synoptics, and in the fourth Gospel it takes the 
form of a statement that what is absolutely a large sum is quite 
inadequate for even a small supply of so big a crowd. 

8<t)o-u)/xev avTols — give them. 

8(1htu/a€i>, instead of SGf/xev, Tisch. N BD 13, 33, 69, 124, 229**, 346. 
8w<ro/j.ev Treg. WH. RV. AL A Latt. External evidence strongly favors 
SibaojfjLev, internal slightly favors dibaofifv, owing to the change of mood, 
which makes subj. an apparent emendation. 

38. virayere, tSere — go, see. 

Omit Kal, and, between virdyere and tdere Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL 
1, 33, 102, 118, 240, 244, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

Kal yv6vre<s — and having ascertained. The verb is used here 
in its inchoative sense to learn, instead of to know. The EV., 
and when they knew, leaves out the process which the Greek 

39. ava.K\LOr}vai — to recline. 1 

avcucXidrjvai, instead of avaKkhai, WH. RV. s B* G I, 13, 28, 69. 

avfXTrovui avfX7r6(na — by parties. The repetition of the noun 
to express the distributive idea is Hebraistic. The word itself 
means a drinking party, i.e. the entertainment, not the guests. 
This present use belongs to the later Greek. k-nl tS x^PV X°P r< P 

— on the green grass. This is a characteristic touch given by Mk. 
alone, with his eye for pictorial details, but it is more important 
than that to us ; for the grass is green in Palestine, especially in 
this hot Jordan valley, only at the time of the Passover. And so, 
here is one intimation in the Synoptics of more than one year's 
ministry. And this is also the place where the fourth Gospel 
inserts a passover between the first and the last. 

40. Kal avtTreaav Trpacnal Trpaviai, Kara. €kclt6v Kal Kara 7revTrjKOVTa 

— and they reclined in {regular co??ipanies like) garden beds, by 
hundreds, and by fifties. 

1 In this sense of reclining at meals, the use of compounds with *v6. belongs to 
later Greek. Win. 2, 1 b. 


aviireaav, instead of avtirevov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BEFGHMV A 
1, 28. /card, instead of &vk, before knarbv and TeyT^Kovra Tisch. Tree. 
WH. n BD Memph. 

This descriptive word npaa-tai, garden beds, gives an admirable 
picturesque touch. The disposition of the people in orderly 
groups was for the more convenient distribution of the food. 

41. evXoyrjae — he blessed. This word in Greek means to praise, 
and only in Biblical Greek does it signify to invoke a blessing on a 
person or thing, copying from the Heb. use. 

Kal KareKXacre — and he broke in pieces} kcu eoYoov rols fxaOrjTats 
Zva TrapaTiOwcnv avrots — and gave to his disciples to set before them. 

Omit avrov after ixad-qraU Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A 33, 102, two 
mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Trapariduo-tv, instead of irapaduxriv, Tisch. Treg. 
marg. WH. n* BLM * All* 42, 63, 122, 229, 251 **, 253. 

Tract — to all. In this, and the 7raVT€5 i^opTaadrjaav, all were 
filled, and SwSe/ca ko<I>ivu)v irX-qpuijxaTa, fillings of twelve baskets, and 
finally the 7rej/ra/ao-xiAioi avBpe<s,five thousand men alone, are enu- 
merated the several things that point to the greatness of the 

42. ixopTdor$r](Tav — they were filled, or satisfied? K\dcrp.ara 
(-t(dv) 8(i)8ckcl Ko<f>Lv<Dv 7r\r)pu)fxaTa — fragments (or of fragments) , 
fillings of twelve baskets. KXaa-fxara is put in an emphatic posi- 
tion, drawing attention to the quantity of fragments even. It is 
noticeable that ko^lvol is used in all four accounts of this miracle, 
while in both accounts of the feeding of the four thousand, o-n-vptBes 
is used. There does not seem to be much difference, if any, 
between the kind of basket, and the identity of language in the 
Gospels in each account is the more remarkable. 

KXaa-fiara, instead of K\aa-fidTcov,Trtg. marg. WH. RV. BL A. /cXatr/td- 
twv k 13, 69, 124, 209, 346. Kocplvwv, instead of tcocpivovs, Tisch. Treg. 
marg. WH. RV. n B 1, 13, 69, 124, 209, 346. TrX-qp^txara, instead of 
irX-npeis, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A 1, 13, 69, 124, 209, 346. 

44. 7revTa/acr;(iA.ioi aVSoe? — five thousand men alone. avSpes is 
the Greek word for men, distinct from women and children. See 
Mt. 14 21 . The whole number then was much greater. 

This is, with the exception of the raising of the dead, the most 
remarkable of all the miracles recounted in the Gospels, being the 
one in which secondary causes are out of the question, making it 
a purely creative act, a creation out of nothing. The rest of the 
provision did not come somehow out of the five loaves and two 
fishes, but was added to it by the mere creative word. All talk 

1 The prep, in composition denotes the separation of the bread into parts by 
the breaking. See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

2 Properly xoprd&Lv is used of the feeding of animals. 


about acceleration of natural processes is mere talk, because there 
is here nothing to start from in such a process. Of course, this 
has led to all kinds of rationalizing. Paulus, and after him Holtz- 
mann, suppose that Jesus set the example of utilizing such provis- 
ions as they had, those who had sharing with those who had not. 
And even Weiss, in order to preserve the historicity of the account 
in the face of an increasing skepticism in regard to so stupendous 
a miracle, admits the possibility of this explanation, only insisting 
that we have here a miracle of providence in bringing together 
such supplies even in a natural way, and that Jesus relied with 
serene confidence upon it. Schenkel explains it as a materializa- 
tion of Jesus' feeding of the multitude with spiritual food. But 
fortunately, we have here, as Weiss points outs, a concurrence of 
three eye witnesses, the Logia of Mt, the oral testimony of Peter, 
and the witness of John being all represented in the several 
accounts, and there is no doubt whatever of the fact that they 
represent it as an actual feeding of the multitude with five loaves 
and two fishes, after which there remained twelve baskets of 


45-52. Immediately after the feeding of the multitude, 
and probably owing to the excitement caused by that, Jesus 
dismisses his disciples with some urgency to embark in the 
boat for Bethsaida on the west shore of the lake, while he 
himself dismisses the multitude. Having taken leave of 
them, Jesus goes up into the mountain in the neighborhood 
to pray. Meantime, the disciples were having a hard time 
with a contrary wind on the lake, and it was past three 
o clock in the morning, when Jesus came to them walking 
on the water. They thought that it was a ghost, but were 
reassured by his announcement of himself. With his coming, 
the wind ceased, and they were filled with an unreasonable 
amazement, not being prepared even by the miracle of feed- 
ing the multitude for this fresh wonder. 

45. cv0vs rjvayKacre. — immediately be compelled. This language 
expresses haste and urgency, for which, however, Mt. and Mk. 


give no reason. But the fourth Gospel states a fact, which would 
certainly account for this urgency, telling us that the people were 
about to come and seize him to make him a king (J. 6 15 ). Accord- 
ing to this, Jesus knew that his disciples would side with the mul- 
titude in this design, and therefore dismisses them with this abrupt- 
ness and imperativeness. Brjdo-a'i&dv — Lk. 9 10 tells us that this 
was the name of the place where the miracle was performed. 
There were two places of the name, one on each side of the lake. 
See Bib Die. Iu>? avros anrokvu — while he hitnself dismisses. The 
avTos emphasizes the fact that Jesus himself, having forced his dis- 
ciples away, dismissed the multitude. It was an emergency in 
which he would trust no one but himself. 

&Tro\vei, instead of dTroXwy, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BL 1. E * K V 28, 
69, etc. read diroXva-ei. 

46. a7roTa£dfxevo<; avrots — having taken leave of them. The 
verb is not used in this sense in the earlier Greek writers, who 
said, instead, do-7ra£eo-0ai. to opos — the mountain, viz. in that 
place. Trpoo-eviacrOai — to pray. Mt. adds to this only the scene 
in Gethsemane as an occasion when Jesus retired to pray. This 
Gospel gives, besides these two, the occasion of his first day's 
work in Capernaum (ch. i a5 ). Lk. gives several others. The 
two mentioned in Mt. and the three of Mk. were crises in his 
life, two of them growing out of a sudden access of popularity, 
and the third out of the impending tragedy of his life. Prayer 
with Jesus was real, growing out of his human needs. 

47. oi/a'as — evening} It was already evening (Mt.), or late 
(Mk.), or the decline of day (Lk.), when the question of feeding 
the multitude came up. That was, therefore, the early evening, 
from three to six o'clock, and this the late evening, from six o'clock 
till night. 

48. iSwv . . . lpx €Tat — And seeing them . . . he comes . . . 
instead of he saw them . . . and comes. 

Idbv, instead of ettev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A mss. Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. Memph. Omit icai, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A 102. 

/?ao-avt£o/AeVov9 — distressed. This is one of the words in which 
the notion of trial or testing has run over into that of distress, 
since difficulty and hardship are so frequent forms of testing. The 
verb is formed from /?ao-avo<j, a touchstone. iXavvav — literally, 
driving. But the word is used frequently of rowing or sailing a 
boat. TcraoTTyv tj>v\aKrjv — the fourth watch. The Jews at this 
time divided the night into four watches of three hours each, and 
this was therefore the last watch, from three to six o'clock. They 
had been having a hard time therefore, having been, at a moderate 
estimate, some eight hours in rowing three miles. Cf. J. 6 19 . 

1 See on i^ 2 . 

122 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [VI. 48-50 

€7ri rrjs 6a\da-(Trj<; — on the sea. It is one of the absurdities of 
rationalizing exegesis, that this has been made to mean on the 
shore of the sea, or in view of the obvious fact that the author 
cannot possibly have meant that, that the story, as it stands, is 
supposed to have arisen from a mythical handling of so common- 
place an event as walking on the shore. The miracle is one of 
those, moreover, that cannot, in our present state of knowledge, 
be explained away. Jesus' miracles of healing can, most of them, 
be attributed to his extraordinary influence over the minds of 
those healed, though it may be doubted if the exceptional cases, 
such as the raising of the dead and the healing at a distance, do 
not so give the law to the rest as to turn even this possibility into 
an improbability. But here is a miracle upon inanimate matter, 
overcoming the difference in specific gravity between water and 
the human body, so that the water will support the heavier body. 
This miracle will yield to no rationalizing treatment, and in it, 
therefore, we are confronted with the problem of the miraculous 
without any alleviation. Nor does it yield any more to a legiti- 
mate historical criticism, which leaves our Lord's miracles un- 
touched, unless we accept it as an axiom of that criticism that the 
miraculous does not happen. And so it is with the problem of 
the miraculous as a fact, with which the life of our Lord con- 
fronts us. 

Kal rjOe\e 7rape\9uv avrovs — and he purposed to pass by them, or 
was on the point of passing by them. See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 
Would have passed by them, EV., would be expressed by the aor. 
ind. of Trapepxo/JLai, with av. This was what he was on the point 
of doing when he was interrupted by their cry. His purpose at 
the time was that, and he waited for some demonstration on their 
part to change it. 

49. on <pavTa(Tfxa ecrriv — that it is an apparition. The lack of 
substance, or material reality, is emphasized by the word. In the 
dark, they did not recognize Jesus, and they could attribute the 
appearance on the water to nothing solid. 

6tl (pavraaixd £<ttiv, instead of <pdi>Ta<r/ia elvai, Tisch. WH. RV. N BL A 33. 

50. 7rai/T£? yap avrbv etoav — for all saw him} 

eiSav, instead of el8ov, Tisch. Treg. WH. n B. D and mss. of Lat. Vet. 
omit the clause. 

6 Se evOvs tXdX-qo-e — and he immediately spoke. 

6 8Z, instead of /ecu, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. n BL A 33, one ms. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. evdvs, instead of cidtus, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. K BL A. 

e-yw dfiL — / am it, where we say, it is I. The language of 
Jesus is reported in the same words by all the evangelists, except 
that J. omits Oapcrdre. 

1 On this use of the vowel of the first aor. in the sec. aor., see Win. 13, 1 a. 


51. Kai avifi-rj . . . ek r. irXolov — and he went up . . . into the 
boat. J. says, 6 21 , that they purposed receiving him into the boat, 
but were prevented by the boat's immediate arrival at the land. 
cK07rao-ev 6 ai/e/u,os — the wind abated. This is evidently to be taken 
as a part of the miracle, as it is connected immediately with his 
coming to them. 

Kal Xtav iv eavrots e&oTavTo — and they were exceedingly amazed 1 
in themselves. Their amazement was inward ; they kept it to 

Omit ck irepuraov, beyond measure (Treg.) WH. RV. n BL A 1, 28, 102, 
Pesh. Omit /ecu idav/xafov, and wondered, Tisch. Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. 
RV. x BL A 1, 28, 102, 118, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

52. im. roh aprois — this does not denote, as in RV., the object 
of the verb, concerning the loaves, but the ground of understand- 
ing, on the ground of the {miracle of the) loaves. The miracle of 
the loaves and fishes should have led to an understanding of the 
present miracles, but it did not have this effect. 2 dAA' tjv avrw fj 
KapUa 7r€7r<Dpoifxevrj — but their heart was hardened. This hardness 
of heart is something quite different from our use of the same 
words, denoting blunted feelings and moral sensibilities. The 
Biblical KapoYa denotes the general inner man, and here especially 
the mind, which is represented as so calloused as to be incapable 
of receiving mental impressions. 

dXV 1}v, instead of Ijv yap, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BLM 2 S A 33, 
Memph. Hard. marg. 


53-56. On their return to the western side, Jesus and his 
disciples land in the district of Gennesaret, and are no sooner 
landed, than the people recognise them, and there is a popu- 
lar uprising throughout the region. Those who first recog- 
nize him spread the report from village to village, and 
wherever Jesus goes, they bring their sick to him, and beg 
that they may as much as touch the hem of his garment as 
he passes. And as many as touched were healed. 

53. lirX tt]v yrjv r)\6ov £19 TcvvrjcrapeT — they came upon the land 
to Gennesaret. Gennesaret was a fertile plain on the west side 

1 On the meaning of this verb, see on 2 12 . 

2 Win. 48 c, Mey. explain this by the German bei, as a temporal adjunct — in 
connection with, at the time of. 

124 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [VI. 54- VII. 23 

of the lake, about three miles long and a mile wide, lying just 
south of Capernaum. See Bib. Die. This landing place was 
several miles south of Bethsaida, for which they had started origi- 
nally, showing how much they had been driven out of their course. 
7rpo(ro)pfxta8r](rav — they moored. 

kir\ tt)p yrjv 1}\dov et's, instead of ijXdop iirl rr\v Tevvrjeapir, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. nBLA 28, 33. 

55. 7repuBpafxov o\r)v rrjv \oipav ZKUvrjv, kcu rjp£avTO — they ran 
about all that country, and began. 

irepiidpafxov . . . /cat, instead of Tepidpa/Aovres, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N 
BL A i, 13, 33, 69, Memph. Pesh. Omit iicei in clause Sirov Ijkovov 8ti iicei 
iari, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. n BL A 102, Pesh. 

KpafiaTTOLs — pallets} 

56. kcu o7rov av d&eTropevero ets Kwpas 77 eh TrdAets 77 cts dypovs 2 
— and wherever he entered into villages, or into cities, or into 

Insert et's before 7i6\eis and aypotis, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDFL A 
most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Hard, erldeo-av, instead of iridovv, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. n BL A. rjfavro, instead of ^tttovto, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BD^ L 
A 1, 13, 28, 33, 69, 124, 346. 

KpacnreSov — the fringe or tassel appended to the hem of the 
outer garment, which served to remind Jews of the Law. But 
probably this ceremonial use is not in mind here, and it means 
just the edge of the garment, as if that slightest touch would be 
healing. J. gives a different account of what followed the storm 
on the lake, viz. that he landed at Capernaum, and delivered the 
discourse on the bread of life in the synagogue (J. 6 22 ). 


VII. 1-23. Certain Scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem, 
seeing- the disciples eating with unwashed hands, complain 
of the violation of tradition. yesus denies the force of 
tradition, and the possibility of material defilement of the 

This dispute is occasioned by the disregard of the disciples for 
the ceremonial law about eating with unwashed hands. But the 
Pharisees, who make the attack, signalize it by complaining of 

1 See on 2*. 

2 The N.T. uses av to denote indefiniteness in a relative clause with a past tense 
of the ind., where the Greek uses the opt. without av. Burton, 315. 


this unconventional act as a violation of the tradition of the 
fathers. And Jesus' answer is at first directed towards this feature 
of their complaint. It is a case, he says, of the commandments 
of men versus the commandments of God, of tradition against 
law. They even set aside the law of God, in order to keep their 
tradition. But then, taking up the more immediate question of 
unwashed hands, Jesus strikes at the root not only of traditional- 
ism, but of ceremonialism, saying that it was not what a man took 
into his stomach, but what came out of his heart, that defiled him. 
And this, Mk. says, had the effect of cleansing all foods. And of 
course, as the distinction between clean and unclean belonged 
not to tradition, but to the written law, this made a breach in the 
law itself. It released men from the obligation of a part of the 
law said to have been given by God to Moses. And it affirmed 
the distinction between outward and inward in religion. It was 
no wonder that Jesus' fate hastened to its end, and that the next 
record of him marks practically the end of his Galilean ministry. 

1. (rvvdyovTai Trpo? avrov 01 Qapicroloi — there gather together to 
him the Pharisees. 1 The distinction made between the Pharisees 
and certain of the Scribes would seem to mean that the Scribes 
were not so well represented. 

This renewed activity of the Scribes and Pharisees against 
Jesus is another indication that there was a Passover at some time 
just before this, at which either the presence of Jesus himself, or 
the reports brought from Galilee, drew fresh attention to him. It 
would not be enough of itself, but it adds to the strength of other 
indications of the same thing. See on 6 39 . 

2. /cat i8oj/Tes two.% rwv /JLaOrjrojv avrov on koivgus X € P a h tovt tariv 
dvt7TToi5, iaOtovcnv tovs aprovs — omit ifx£[Ai}/a.vTo — with this omis- 
sion it reads, they gather to him, having come from Jerusalem, and 
having seen that certain of his disciples are eating with common 
hands, that is, unwashed. 

6tl . . . ia-dlova-Lv, instead of e<r0iovras, Tisch. Treg. RV. n BL A 33 
(Memph. Pesh.). Omit e/x^^apro, found faulty Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x 
ABEGHLVX TA one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

/coivcu? — literally, common. In the Greek, it denotes simply 
what is common to several people, as common property. It is 
only in later Greek, that it comes to denote what is ordinary, or 
vulgar, or profane, as distinguished from select or sacred things. 
Under this general head, it comes to mean cere?nonially unclean. 

1 Are 

gathered, RV., would require the perf. pass. This is the historical present. 


The Pharisees did not seek by these washings to remove dirt, but 
the defilement produced by contact with profane things. 

3. Qapicrcuoi kcu 7ravrcs ol 'IouSaioi — The Pharisees and all the 
Jews. This custom had become general among the Jews, though 
it originated with the Pharisees, -rrvyfxrj — this means with the fist. 
But the awkwardness of the process has led to doubt from the 
very first, whether this is the meaning intended. But the doubt 
has not led to the substitution of any justifiable alternative ren- 
dering. The meanings, up to the wrist, or elbow, RV. marg. are 
both linguistically and grammatically disallowed. With a fist full 
of water needs too much read between the lines, and, besides, the 
word denotes the closed fist. Finally, frequently, or diligently, 
RV., was probably taken in the first instance, in the Lat. Vet. and 
Syrr., from the reading 7tvkvoi. The supposition that wy^r} had 
come to have this figurative meaning, seems forced, and besides, 
there is no warrant for it in actual usage. Edersheim quotes from 
the Jewish ordinance the provision that the hands should be held 
up in order that the water might run down to the wrist, and says 
that the provision that washing should be performed with the fist 
is not found in the Jewish law. This is, of course, a serious con- 
sideration, but does not seem to compare in importance with the 
other fact, that the Greek word does not mean this, nor the Greek 
case. The custom was not necessarily a part of the law, and 
may have been merely a usage arising from a desire for scrupulous 
observance. The very fact that the reading 7rvy /xrj occasions this 
difficulty, makes the strong external evidence for that reading 
still more convincing, and with this reading the only translation 
possible seems to be with the fist. 

irvKvk, Tisch. n mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Syrr. 

t^v 7rapaSo(nv — the tradition. It is the Greek etymological 
equivalent of tradition, and denotes what is passed along from 
one to another, and among the Jews, the body of Rabbinical 
interpretation of the written law, preserved by oral transmission 
from one generation to another. The word occurs in the Gos- 
pels only in this account and in the parallel passage in Mt. In 
attacking this, Jesus was assailing the very citadel of the Judaism 
of his time. 1 

twv 7rp€a(3vT€poiv — the elders. The word is used here in the 
sense of fathers, or ancestors. 

4. iav fxrj j3a7rTL<r<i)VTa.L — unless they bathe, Amer. Rev. The 
contrast between this and the preceding case is indicated by the 
d7ro dyopas, from the market place. These words are put first, in 
order to indicate that this is a special case, inasmuch as in the 
market place they would contract special defilement, owing to its 

1 See Schurer, N. Zg. II. I. 25, on Scribism. 


being a place of public resort, where they would meet all sorts 
and conditions of men. This case would require special treat- 
ment, denoted by the difference between vtya)VTai t. x^P *) an ^ 
/8a7TTtcro>i/Tat, they wash their hands, and they wash themselves all 
over. This case required the washing of the whole body. For 
instances of such washings, see Lev. 14 s - 9 15 s - 6 - «• ">• n. 13. ie. 21. 22. 27 
j 54. 24. 26 22 e Moreover, Edersheim says that immersion of the 
things washed was the Jewish ritual provided in such cases. 
Dr. Morison contends that sprinkling was the ritual method pro- 
vided in such cases, and attempts to overthrow the plain meaning 
of the word by the supposed custom. But he does not prove the 
custom, only the supposed impossibility of wholesale bathing. 
Moreover, the contrast would be a very lame one in that case, 
since the custom required careful washing of the hands, and so an 
actual removal of defilement, but in the case of extreme defile- 
ment, only a sprinkling of the body for form's sake is supposed. 
And his argument, that words constantly undergo such changes, 
amounts to nothing, as it is unaccompanied by proof that this 
word has gone through the process .of change. 

WH. non marg. RV. marg. pavTiauvTai, sprinkle, instead of fiairrl- 
ffwvTcu, with n B 40, 53, 71, 86, 237, 240, 244, 259. A manifest emendation. 

irapeXafiov — the counterpart of TrapdSoa-iv, denoting the process 
of receiving a thing by transmission, as the latter does its giving. 
iror-qpLOiv k. ^ecrTwv k. )(o.Xkl(dv — cups, and wooden vessels, and 
brazen vessels, k. k\w£>v, — and of beds, is omitted. 1 Edersheim 
shows that the Jewish ordinance required immersions, /?a7rno-/xovs, 
of these vessels. 

Omit koX k\o>Qv, Tisch. WH. RV. nBLA 102, Memph. 

5. Kat €7repa)Twcriv — and they question. TrepuraTovo-iv — walk; 
the figurative use of this word to denote manner of life, conduct, 
is Hebraistic. 

ical, instead of eireira, then, before iirepuTuatv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BDL 1, 33, 209, Latt. Pesh. Memph. 

koivcus x e P°"^ — with unclean hands. 

KOLvah, instead of avlirrois, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BD I, 28, 33, 1 18, 
209, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

6. koK^ —well; i.e.,\n this case, truly, tuv v-rroKpiruv — the 
hypocrites. This is the only passage in Mk. in which this word 
occurs. It means properly a play-actor, and hence a person who 
is playing a part in life, whose real character is not represented 
by what men see. This secondary meaning belongs to Biblical 

1 AV. tables J 


Omit aTroKptdeU, answering, at the beginning of this verse, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. x BL A 33, l ° 2 > Memph. Pesh. Omit on before /caXwj, Tisch. 
(Treg.) WH. m BL A 33, 102, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Pesh. kirpo<pi\Ttv- 
<rev, instead of irpoecp-qrevaev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. >s B* DL A 1, 13, 33, 
124, 346. 

(05 yiypa-rrraL on 6 Xaos outos — literally, as it has been written, 
that this people. 

Insert 6tl before 6 Xabs, Tisch. WH. n BL Pesh. 

This quotation is from Is. 29 13 , and conforms for the most part 
to the LXX., which reads 'Eyyt^ct /xoi 6 Aaos ovtos iv rw a-TOfxart 
avrov, kolL iv rat? ^€t'Aeo-iv avrov ti/auW fxe, rj 8c KapSi'a avr^v iroppui 
aare^cL oltt ip.ov ', p.6.Trjv 8e crefiovTal /xe 8t8a(TKOVT€s evraX^tara av6pu)7roiv 
k. 8t8ao-Ka\ta? — This people draws near to me with its mouth, and 
with their lips they honor me, but their heart is far from me. 
But in vain they honor me, teaching commandments and teach- 
ings of ?nen. The Heb. is translated in the RV., Forasmuch as 
this people draw nigh to me, a?id with their mouth and with their 
lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and 
their fear of ??ie is a commandment of men which hath been taught 
them. The principal difference is in this last clause, which in the 
original charges them with fearing God only in obedience to a 
human commandment ; while in our passage and in the LXX., it 
states the vanity of their worship, owing to their substitution of 
human commands for the Divine law. It is this misquoted part 
which makes the point of the quotation, and it is the misquotation 
which makes it available. 

7. 8i8ao-KovTes — the part, gives the reason for the vanity or use- 
lessness of their worship, and may be translated, while teaching. 
Si8ao-KaAtas — is in apposition with ivrdXpxLra, and may be trans- 
lated for teachings. ivraXfiara avOpw-n-wv 1 — commandments of 
men. These two words contain the gist of the charge, and it 
is this inculcation of human teachings for the Divine law that is 
developed in what follows. 

8. 'A^eVres rrjv ivTokrjv rov ®eov — Leaving the commandment 
of God. 

Omit yap after a<p4vTes, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A* 102, 124, 

This statement, that the Scribes and Pharisees leave Divine 
commands for human, is a singular comment on their attempt to 
build a hedge about the Law. The oral tradition was intended 
by them to be an exposition of the Law, and especially of the 
application of its precepts to life. They devised it so that men 
should not by ignorance and misunderstanding come short of the 

1 ivraKfiar* belongs to Biblical Greek, ivrokrj is the Gre*& word. 


righteousness prescribed in the Law. But, in the first place, their 
method of interpretation was fitted to bring out anything except 
the real meaning of the Scripture, being to the last degree fanciful 
and arbitrary ; and then in the second place, they proceeded to 
make this interpretation authoritative, so that really a human word 
got to be substituted for the Divine in most cases. Their mistake 
does not stand by itself; it has been repeated in every age. Every- 
where, the same fatality attends authoritative exposition, nay, is 
involved in its very nature. The human exposition gets substi- 
tuted for the Divine word, and so the worship of man becomes 

Omit last part of this verse, beginning ^airTia-fioiis, washings, Tisch. 
(Treg.) WH. RV. n BL A 1, 102, 209, 251, Memph. 

9. KaXws dOerciTe 1 — well do you set aside. KaAws is used here 
ironically, like our word bravely. 

10. For quotations, see Ex. 20 12 and 21 17 . Oavdno TeXevrdru) — 
let him surely die (RV. marg.), a rendering of the Heb. inf. abs. 
which simply intensifies the meaning of the verb. This last com- 
mand, affixing the capital penalty to the sin of reviling parents, is 
adduced by our Lord to show how seriously the Law takes this fifth 

11. With the omission of kol, and, at the beginning of v. 12 , the 
two verses belong together, and read, But you say, " If a man say 
to his father or his mother, ' Anything in which you 7nay be profited 
by me is Corban {that is, an offering),' 1 " you no longer permit him 
to do anything for his father or his mother. 2 

Omit Kal, and, at beginning of v. 12 , Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. s BD A 1, 13, 
28, 69, 102, 346, fnss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

Kopfidv is the Hebrew word for an offering. It is the predicate, 
having the antecedent of the relative for its subj. The meaning 
is, that a man had only to pronounce this word over anything, 
setting it aside to a Divine use, in order to escape the obligation 
of giving it for the relief or comfort of his parents. Even when 
said in good faith, this contravenes the Divine Law, since the duty 
to the parent takes precedence of the obligation to make offer- 
ings. The choice in such cases is not between God and man, but 
between two ways of serving God, the one formal and the other 
real. Offerings belong to the formal side of worship, whereas God 
is really served and worshipped in our human duties and affections. 
But it was not necessary that the banning should be carried out 
on its positive side. The word having once been uttered, the 

1 aOerelre is a later Greek word. 

2 This is an anacoluthon, as the condition belongs to the saying of the Jews, 
and the conclusion to the statement of Jesus. 


man was freed from the human obligation, but needed not to 
make the offering. Nay, he was positively forbidden to use the 
article any longer for the human purpose with reference to which 
the Korban had been uttered. The regulation was not invented 
for this purpose, but was intended to emphasize the sacredness of 
a thing once set apart, even by a thoughtless word, to Divine uses. 
But it failed, as the uninspired mind generally does, to define 
Divine uses, and left out what was of real importance, while em- 
phasizing and retaining the unimportant. 

Omit aiiTov after trarpl, Tisch. Treg. WH. N BDL A 28, 69, 240, 244, 
245, 346, mss. Lat. Vet. Omit avrov after n-qrpl n BDL 1, 13, 28, 56, 69, 
240, 244, 346, Latt. 

13. aKvpovvTes — invalidating is an exact translation of the 
Greek word, which means to deprive a thing of its strength. 
7rapaSoVa v/xuiv fj 7rapeBioKare — the tradition which you handed 
down. It is impossible to render into English the paronomasia 
here. The verb describes the handing along from one generation 
to another which constitutes tradition. Tra.p6p.oia — nearly like} 

14. 7rpoo-KaAe(ra/xcvo9 7raA.1v rov oy\ov — Having called up the 
crowd again. It seems that the previous conference has been 
held with the Scribes and Pharisees alone. But Jesus wishes 
what he says now about the matter to be heard by the people. It 
is a matter, not of private conference or debate, but of the utmost 
importance for the popular understanding of true religion. 

ttoKiv, again, instead of irdvra, all, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BDL A 
mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Hard. marg. 

'AKovaari fxov rravres k. avvere — This is no formal introduc- 
tion, but calls on his hearers to lend him not only their ears, but 
their understandings, in view of the special importance of what 
follows. He may well do so, since what he says abrogates the 
distinction between clean and unclean, which forms so essential a 
part not only of tradition, but also of the Levitical part of the Law 

aKovaare, instead of d/covere, Tisch. Treg. WH. BDHL. avvere, 2 instead 
of avvlere, Tisch. Treg. WH. BHL A 238. 

Ovhev iartv e^wOev rov avOpwirov elo-Trope.vop.evov eh avrov, o duva- 
rai KOLvuiaai avrov — There is nothing outside the man entering into 
him, which can defile him. The reason that Jesus gives for this 
statement shows that he meant to make the distinction between 
outward and inward in the sense of material and spiritual. The 
things from outside cannot defile, because they enter the belly, and 

1 This word, which is common in classical Greek, is found only here in the N.T. 
a This form, sec. aor. imp., occurs only here in N.T. The aor. imperatives here 
are appropriate to the beginning of discourse. 


not the heart, while those from within are evil thoughts of all 
kinds. This has nothing to do, therefore, with the question, 
whether, among spiritual things, it is only those from within the 
man himself that can hurt him. Inwardness in this sense belongs 
to things within the man himself and within others, and externality 
is to be taken in the same sense. dAA.a to, ck tov avOpunrov Iktto- 
pevo/xevd iart to. koivovvtcl tov avOpanrov — but the things coming 
out of the man are the things which defile the man. The repeti- 
tion of the noun man, instead of using the pronoun, which here 
amounts to inelegance, is quite in Mk.'s manner. 

iic tov dpdpuTTov eKiropev6p.epa, coming out from the man, instead of 
iKiropevdfxepa &ir' avrov, coming out of him, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDL A 
S3, Latt. Memph. Omit iicecpa, those, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. xBLA 102, 

Verse 16 is omitted by Tisch. WH. RV. (bracketed by Treg.) x BL A 
28, 102, Memph. 

17. Ttjv 7rapa/3o\r)v — the parable {riddle}. From the use of 
this word to represent the Heb. word btti, it loses sometimes its 
proper sense of similitude, and comes to be used of any sententious 
saying, or apothegm, in which the meaning is partly veiled by the 
brevity, but especially by the material and outward form of the 
saying. Here, entering from the outside, and coming out, are used 
to express the contrasted ideas of material and spiritual, and what 
the saying gains in pungency and suggestiveness it loses in exact- 
ness. Hence it is called a TrapafioXrj. 

tt)v irapafiok'qv, the parable, instead of Trepl rrjs TrapafioXTJs. concerning 
the parable, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BDL A 33, Latt. 

18. Kal<; — You too, as well as the multitude. Jesus' saying 
was a riddle to them, not only because of the concrete form of 
statement, but also because of its intrinsic spirituality. They had 
been trained in Judaism, in which the distinction between clean 
and unclean is ingrained, and could not understand a statement 
abrogating this. It was all a riddle to them. 

7ra.v to t£<i)6ev . . . ov SvvaTat . Koiv(t)o~a.i — nothing outside can 

19. This verse gives the reason why outward things cannot 
defile. They do not enter the inner man, the *apoYa, but the 
KoiAia, belly, belonging to the outward man, and are passed out 
into the acpeSpw, the privy? 

KaOapi£u>v iravTa to. /fyxo/xara — RV. This he said, making all 
things clean. The part, agrees with the subj. of Acyei, he says 

1 irdiv ov Svvarai, everything cannot, is the inexact, Hebrew form of the universal 
negative ; the logical, Greek form being ovSev Svvarai, nothing can. Win. 3 c, 1. 

2 tt/v KapSiav is the heart, in the broad, Scriptural sense of the inner man. a <f>e- 
Spuva is a barbarous word, probably of Macedonian origin, the proper Greek 
equivalent being o^o5os. 


(v. 18 ). That is, the result of this statement of Jesus was to abro- 
gate the distinction between clean and unclean in articles of food. 
The use of quotation marks would show this connection as follows : 
He says to them, " Are ye so without understanding also ? Do ye 
not perceive that nothing which enters into the man from without 
can defile him ; because it does not enter into the heart, but into 
the belly, and goes out into the privy" so making all foods clean. 

With the reading Kadaplfrv, the part, agrees with the preceding state- 
ment; that is, the going out into the privy purines the food, as that receives 
the refuse parts which have been eliminated in the process of digestion. 
With the masc, it is possible to connect it with acpedp&va, but the anacolu- 
thon involved is rather large-sized and improbable, as only a single word 
separates the noun from its unruly adjunct. The only probable connection 
is with the subject of X^yet (v. 18 ). 

tcadaplfav, instead of Kadaplfrv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABEFGHLSX 
A i, 13, 28, 69, 124. 

20. to €K r. av0p<x}7rov cK7ropevo/xev, €K€tj/o koivoI — what cometh 
out of the man, that defileth the man. Coming out is used here to 
denote the spiritual, as entering in is to denote the material. 
Spiritual things can defile the man, and these only, not such 
material articles as food. And of course, this means that the real 
man is the spiritual part, and that defilement of the physical part 
does not extend to the spiritual part, which constitutes the real 
man. That can be reached only by spiritual things akin to itself. 
This principle, that spiritual and spiritual go together, and that 
the material cannot penetrate the spiritual, which is impervious to 
it, is needed in the interpretation of Christianity, as well as in the 
reform of Judaism. 

21. ol S1aA.oy107x.01 — The article denotes the class of things col- 
lectively, whereas the anarthrous noun denotes them individually. 
This is the general term, under which the things that follow are 
specifications. The noun denotes the kind of thought which 
weighs, calculates, and deliberates. It is used here of designs or 
purposes. It is in accordance with our Lord's whole course of 
thought here, that he designates the evil as residing rather in the 
thought than in the outward act. The order of the first four 
specifications is as follows : Tropvuat, KAomu, tpovoi, fioi^eiai, forni- 
cations, thefts, murders, adulteries. The arrangement of the TR. 
is an attempt at a more studied order, bringing together things 
that are alike. The only principle of arrangement in Mk.'s 
enumeration is the distinction between these grosser, more out- 
ward forms of sin, and the more subtle, inward manifestations 
which follow in v. 22 . 1 

iropveiai, K\o7ral, <p6voi, /uotxetcu, instead of jjxtix^ai, iropveiai, (pbvoi, 
K\oirat, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A Memph. 

1 On the use of the plural of the abstract noun to denote the forms or manifesta- 
tions of a quality, see Win. 27, 3. 


22. irov-qpiai — In general, this is a generic term for evil. Where 
it is used specifically, as here, it probably denotes malice as a dis- 
tinct form of evil. SoAos — deceit does not convey the flavor of 
this word, which, starting from the idea of bait, comes to denote 
any trick, and abstractly, trickery, cunning, craft. aaeXytta — 
Here also, the EV. lasciviousness, fails to convey the meaning. 
The word denotes in a general way the absence of self-restraint, 
unbridled passion, or cruelty, and the like. License, or wanton?iess, 
may be used to translate it. 6<p0a\pLo<; Trovrjpos — an evil eye — 
a Hebrew expression for envy. fi\acr<p'qp.ia — a general word for 
evil or injurious speech, either of God or man. Toward the 
former it is blasphemy, toward the latter, slander. In this con- 
nection it is probably sla?ider. v-n-eprj^avLa — a common Greek 
word, but found only here in the N.T. It includes pride of self 
and contempt of others, arrogance. a<ppo<rvvq — folly translates 
this better than foolishness, as it denotes the morally foolish. 

23. Zo-uOev — from within. These things are morally unclean, 
while only the physically unclean comes from without. 

What Jesus says here is directed specially against the traditional 
law, but the thing condemned, the distinction between clean and 
unclean, belongs also to the written law. Plainly, then, the distinc- 
tion between the word of God and the word of man has to be 
carried within the Scripture, and used in the analysis of its con- 
tents. The thing that Jesus calls a word of man here is found also 
in the O.T. itself, and is fundamental in the Levitical law. 


24-30. Jesus leaves Galilee and comes into Syrophcenicia. 
A zvoman of the place asks him to heal her daughter, and 
overcomes Jesus' apparent reluctance by her shrewd wit and 

The account reads simply that Jesus departed from that place 
into the borders of Tyre, where he wished to remain unknown, 
but could not hide his presence. For a Gentile woman, a Syro- 
phoenician, found him out, and begged him to cast the evil spirit 
out of her daughter. Jesus was not there for the purposes of his 
work, and in general confined himself to the Jews in his ministra- 
tions. But he feels the irony of the situation that makes the Jew 
plume himself on his superiority to the Gentile, and reflects it in 


his answer, that it is not a good thing to cast the children's bread 
to the dogs. The quick wit of the woman catches at these words, 
and her faith feels the sympathy veiled in them, so that she answers, 
yes, and the dogs eat the crumbs. That word is enough ; Jesus 
assures her of her daughter's cure, and she goes home to find the 
evil spirit gone. So far the account. But when we find in the 
succeeding chapters that Jesus' excursion into the Gentile ter- 
ritory is not confined to this case, but that he continues there in 
one place and another, rather than in Galilee, that his teaching 
is restricted mostly to his disciples, and that he begins to warn 
them of his approaching fate, it is evident that this journey marks 
practically the close of our Lord's ministry in Galilee, and that 
this dispute with the Pharisees about clean and unclean marks a 
crisis in his life. These are not missionary journeys, but are 
undertaken to enable Jesus to be alone with his disciples. 

24. 'EKtWev Sc avauaras 1 aTrr)\0ev eis ra opta Tvpov — And from 
thence he arose and went into the coasts of Tyre. 

'EKeTdev dt, instead of Kal etceWev, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. n BL A 
Hard. marg. opia, instead of fiedopia, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BDL A I, 13, 
28, 61 marg. 69, 209, 346. Omit kclI 2i5wj>os, Tisch. (Treg. marg. WH.) 
RV. marg. DL A 28 mss. Lat. Vet. It is a case in which a copyist, used 
to the conjunction of the two places, might easily insert the words, but the 
omission is improbable for the same reason. And Mk. evidently meant to 
discriminate, since he says afterwards that Jesus left the region of Tyre, and 
came through Sidon, v. 31 (Tisch. Treg. WH. RV.). 

to. opta — The word denotes primarily the boundaries of a terri- 
tory, and then the country itself included within those limits. It 
has been contended that the original meaning of the word is to be 
retained here, and that Jesus did not penetrate Gentile territory, 
but only its borders, that part of Galilee which bordered on Syro- 
phoenicia. But this would be the single case of this restricted 
meaning in the N.T., and the universally accepted reading, Sia 
2iSa)vos (v. 31 ), shows that he did penetrate the Gentile territory. 
Mt., however, in accordance with the plan of his Gospel, seems to 
represent this event as taking place on Jewish soil (15 22 ). Tyre 
and Sidon belonged to Syrophoenicia, a strip of territory on the 
Mediterranean, noted for its antiquity, wealth, and civilization, 

1 This use of ivaa-ras corresponds to the Heb. V?^\, and belongs to Oriental ful- 
ness, if not redundancy, of speech. Win. 64, 4, Note at end, contends that it is not 
redundant in all cases, but admits its redundancy here. Thay.-Grm. Lex. denies 
its redundancy altogether. And it is not redundant in one sense, since it is 
included in the action. But so is the straightening out of the limbs. It is so far 
redundant that the Greek, with its finer sense of the needful in speech, would 
omit it. 


which had remained practically independent of Jewish, Greek, 
and Assyrian rule, though subject to the Romans since the time of 

Kal elcreXOlov ets oi/a'av, ovoVva -rfOeXc yvuivcu, kcu ovk ^Swacr^iy \a6eiv 
— And having entered a house, he wished no one to know it, and 
he could not be hidden. 

Omit ri)v before oIkLclp, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABLNX TAII Pesh. 
ridwdadr), 1 for Tj8vv^dr], Tisch. WH. n B. 

ovSiva rjOeXe yvaivat — he wished no one to know it. This was in 
accordance with his purpose in resorting to this unaccustomed 
place. Morison makes a foolish distinction here between the wish 
of Jesus and his purpose, evidently with the idea that a purpose 
of Jesus could not be defeated. But aside from the fact, that N.T. 
usage does not bear out such a distinction, it would be difficult to 
draw the line between a wish that one is at pains to carry out, and 
a purpose. No, this is one of the cases in which the human 
uncertainty belonging to action based on probabilities, not certain- 
ties, appears in the life of Jesus, ovk r/Swdo-drj Xaddv — he could 
not be hid. The inability is put over against the wish. This state- 
ment, which prepares the way for what follows in regard to Jesus' 
unreadiness to perform the miracle, is peculiar to Mk. 

25. dXA.' evOvs aKovaao-a — but immediately having heard. Jesus 
had no sooner arrived than this took place. 

This reading, instead of aKov<ra<ra yap, for having heard, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. M BL A 33, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. edd. Hard, tnarg. 

77s e?j(€ to Ovyarpiov avrf}*; — whose daughter had. 2 

Tisch. reads elcreKdovaa, having entered, instead of eXdovcra, having come, 
with n L A most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. A very probable reading. 

26. 'EAAi/ns, ^vpo^oLVLKLaaa tw ycVet — a Greek, a Syrophozni- 
cian by race. That is, she was in general a Gentile, and more 
particularly a Syrophcenician. 

'EAAtjvis is literally, a Greek, but used by the Jews to designate 
any Gentile, owing to the wide diffusion of the Greek race and 
language. Syrophcenician is a more particular designation of the 
race to which she belonged. The prefix denotes that part of 
Phoenicia which belonged to Syria, in distinction from Libo- 
phcenicia, or the Carthaginian district in the north of Africa. 

'ZvpcxpoiviKHTca, instead of 2,vpo<polpi<r<ra, Tisch. WH. txt. n AKLS marg. 
V marg: AIT 1. 

1 On the form, see Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

2 This is a literal translation of the Heb. idiom, which inserts the personal 
pronoun after the relative. 

1 36 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [VII. 26-28 

Kal yjp^ra avrov ha . . . cKfidXrj — and she asked him to cast 

iK^d\ V , instead of iKpdWy, Tisch. Treg. WH. n ABDE, etc. 

27. Kal IXcyev — and he said. 

This reading, instead of 6 5£ 'Irjaovs elirev, and Jesus said, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BL A 33, Memph. 

*A<£cs Trpdrov ^oprao-^vai ra T€Kva — let the children be fed first. 
In this word, first, Jesus hints that the time of the Gentiles is 
coming, as he frequently does in the course of his teaching, while 
he restricts his own work to the Jews. Mt. omits this, and makes 
Jesus' refusal to be much more definite and positive, t. tckvuv 
. . . t. KvvapLoi<i — By these terms, Jesus distinguishes between the 
Jews, who are the children of the household, and the Gentiles. 
Dogs is a term expressing the contempt of your true Jew for the 
heathen, and sounds strange in the mouth of our Lord. Weiss 
denies the contemptuous use of the term dog, and makes it 
merely a parable, in which an arrangement of the kingdom of 
God is expressed in the terms of household economy, in which 
the contempt for dogs plays no part. But this is to ignore the 
fact that " dog " is always a term of contempt, especially in the 
East ; that as such, it was applied by Jews to Gentiles ; and that, 
if Jesus did not mean to express contempt, his language was 
singularly ill-chosen, as the woman would be sure to understand 
him so. See Bib. Die. But I am inclined to believe that Jesus 
did not use the term seriously, but with a kind of ironical con- 
formity to this common sneer, having felt in his own experience 
how small occasion the Jews of his time had to treat any other 
people with contempt. He had good reasons for confining his 
work to the Jews, but they did not arise from any acceptance of 
their estimate of themselves or of others. It is as if he had put 
in a " you know," to indicate a common opinion. 

28. Nat', Kvpce' Kal ra Kvvdpta . . . iaOiovcnv — Yes, lord; and 
the dogs . . . eat. 

Omit yap before to. Kvv&pia, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BH A 13, 28, 33, 
69, Memph. Pesh. e<rdiov<ni>, instead of eadlei, Tisch. Treg. WH. N BDL A. 

This use of Jesus' own words to neutralize the force of his 
seeming rebuff has been regarded rightly always as a unique com- 
bination of faith and wit. But it is not simply a trick of words ; 
the beauty of it is, that it finds the truth that escapes superficial 
notice in both the analogy and the spiritual fact represented by 
it. It means, there is a place for dogs in the household, and 

1 There is a double irregularity here : first, in the use of j^pcoTa to denote a request, 
instead of a question; and secondly, in the use of Iva with the subj., instead of the 
inf., to denote the matter of the petition. Burton, 200, 201. 



there is a place for Gentiles in God's world. And further, her 
faith was quickened by what she saw of Jesus. She knew intui- 
tively that he was a being to take a large and sympathetic view 
of things, not the hard and narrow one, and that he had really 
prepared the way for her statement. This is of the essence of 
faith, to hold fast to what your heart and the highest things in you 
tell of God, in spite of all appearances to the contrary. 

30. to 7raiStov fiefikrjfxcvov eVt t. kXlvtjv — the child throw?i upon 
the bed. Probably the cure had been attended by violent convul- 
sions, as in other cases of the same kind in the Gospels. 1 

to iraidlop fiefi\r)fitvov iwl ttjv kXLptjv, Kal rb dai/xdviov iije\r)\vd6s, instead 
of to daifjioviop ei;€\7)\vd6s, Kal rd watdiov fieftX-qnivov iwl tt)s kXIvtjs, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 


31-37. From the region of Tyre, Jesus went still further 
north, through Sidon, and then south again to Decapolis, on 
the SE. shore of the lake. Here they bring him a deaf 
man, zvhose speech has been impaired by his deafness, to be 
cured. Jesus is not here for the p7irposes of his mission, 
and in order to call as little attention to the cure as possible, 
he takes the man aside from the multitude. And as the 
man is deaf, and Jesus needs to establish communication 
with him in some way in order to draw out his faith, he 
employs signs, thrusting his fingers into his ears, and put- 
ting spittle on his tongue, and casting his eyes to heaven. 
The maji is cured, and then Jesus enjoins silence in regard 
to the aire. But in vain, as they are more eager to tell the 
story of his beneficent power, tJie more he tries to prevent it. 

31. rjXOev 8ia Xt^utvoq eis ttjv Odkao-o-av — he came through Sidon 
to the sea. 

did ScStD^os els ttjv ddXatraav, instead of Kal ZiSQvos, fjXde irpbs ttjv 
dd\a<r<rav, and of Sidon, he came to the sea, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDL 
A 33, Latt. Memph. 

This reading establishes the fact that Jesus entered Gentile ter- 
ritory in this visit, and also that Mk. does not mean by t<x o/oia 

l See i26 q26. 


Tvpov (v. 24 ), the Galilean territory adjoining Syrophoenicia. The 
two statements taken together show that he means to distinguish 
between two districts of Syrophoenicia, the one about Tyre, and 
the other about Sidon. 

dva /xcVov rCiv bpiuiv AcKaTrdAews — into the midst of the region 
of Decapolis 1 {through the midst, EV.). But plainly Jesus came 
to, not through, Decapolis, as he went by boat to the west shore 
of the lake after the feeding of the multitude (8 1-10 ). Jesus had 
been in this district before, at the time when he healed the 
Gadarene demoniac, and had been driven away. He meets with 
a different reception now. 

K<D<f>6v kclI ixoytXaXov, deaf and having an impediment in his 
speech. fxoyiXdXov is a Biblical word, found in the Sept., but only 
here in the NT. Literally, it means speaking with difficulty ; but 
in the LXX., it is used to translate the Hebrew word meaning 
dumb. In this case the cure is said to have resulted in the man's 
speaking rightly, implying that before he had spoken, but de- 

Insert koX before /xoyiXiXov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BD A Latt. 

33. kclL 6.7ro\a(S6/x€vo<; avrov diro rov oyXov Kar ioYav — and hav- 
ing taken him aside from the crowd by himself. The AV. gives 
the meaning of Kar ioYav better than the RV., which translates it 
privately. It means apart, by himself. ZftaXev — he thrust. Put, 
EV. does not give the force of the word. Our Lord's symbolic 
action here is intended to convey by signs to the deaf man's mind 
what Jesus means to do for him, and so to give him something 
for his faith, as well as his intelligence, to act upon. 

In explaining Jesus' action in taking the man apart from the 
multitude, we have to consider two things : first, the condition of 
the man, and the necessity of concentrating his attention on what 
Jesus was doing. It goes along with the other signs employed by 
our Lord to convey his purpose to the man, cut off from other 
means of communication. And secondly, Jesus' unusual reasons 
for desiring secrecy. He was engaged with his disciples on this 
journey, not with the multitude, and he did not want the one 
miracle to grow into his ordinary engrossing work. The peculiar 
methods of this miracle have to be coordinated with those of 
8 22-26 , and it is evident that, in both cases, this motive of secrecy 
is strong. Jesus avoided publicity in all his miracles, but espe- 
cially in this period of retirement. 

Kal 7rrvo-as yif/aro rrjs yXwao-rjS avrov, Kal avafiXtyas as rov ovpa- 
vov io~Teva£e — a?id having spit, he touched his tongue (ivith the 
spittle), and having looked up to heaven, he groaned. This is 
a part of the language of signs employed by our Lord, and is 

1 On Decapolis, see on 5 1 - 20 . 


intended to convey to the man's mind, first the help that he is to 
receive, the loosening of his tongue, and secondly, the heavenly 
source from which his help was to come. The groan was an ex- 
pression of his own feelings, stirred to sympathy by the sight of 
human suffering, of which there was so much that he could not 
relieve. 'E<f><pa6d l — Be opened. This is addressed to the man, 
who was himself to be opened to sound and speech through the 
opening of his organs. 

35. koX rjvoLy-qa-av 2 avrov at aKoat — And his ears were opened. 

Omit evtitus, Tisch. Treg. (Treg. marg.*) WII. RV. n BDL A 33, 102, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. r/volyriaav, instead of bi.r]volxdri<Tav, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
n BD A 1, etc. 

d/coat — literally, hearings, but applied by metonymy to the 
organs of hearing. oW/aos rrj<: yXuto-crrjs — bond of his tongue. 
Probably, as this was a case in which deafness and dumbness 
went together, the dumbness was occasioned by the deafness, and 
Beanos denotes figuratively whatever stood in the way of his 
speech, and not necessarily a defect in the organ of speech itself. 
The bond in this case would be the deafness which tied his 
tongue. 6p0u>s — rightly. This confirms the view, that the defect 
has been primarily in his hearing, and that this had resulted in 
partial, but incomplete loss of speech. See on fioycXaXov, vj'' 2 . 

36. koX StcorctAaro avrois Iva fxrjSevl Acywcrtv" oaov Se avTOis 
Sieo-re'AAeTO, aurot /xaX\ov irtpicrvoTtpov iKypv<r<rov — and he com- 
manded them to tell no one. But the more he commanded the?n f 
the more exceedingly they heralded it? 

Xtyuxxiv, instead of etirwaiv, Tisch. Treg. WII. s BL A 28, 3^. Omit 
avrbs after '6<rov 8t, Tisch. Treg. WII. x A1JLX A 1, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 
Memph. Insert avroi before /zaMoj/, Tisch. Treg. WII. n B(D)LN A ^3t 
61, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

Jesus accompanies this miracle with the ordinary injunction of 
secrecy, but it only inflamed their zeal to publish it. 4 The con- 
duct of the multitude is a good example of the way in which men 
treat Jesus, yielding him all homage, except obedience. 5 

37. v7r€p7repi(r<TU)s — a word not found elsewhere, and expressing, 
like the double comparative /xSAAoi/ 7repio-o-or€poi/, the excessive 
feeling and demonstration of the people. i$€7r\yjaaovTo — another 
strong word, meaning literally were struck out of their senses? 

Kol dAaAous AaAcii/ — and dumb to speak. 

Omit rovs before d\d\ovs, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. k BL A ^3- 

1 'E<fxf)a96. represents the Aramaic PirjanK, the ethpael imper. of the verb nn» 
Heb. rn«. 

2 Both the augment on the prep., and the sec. aor. in r^voiynvav belong to later 

3 The regular form of stating this proportion is rorrovTu '6vov, with a comparative 
in each member. ^dAAof strengthens a comparative with which it is joined. 

4 See on i«. Cf. 5'* <3 Note ; >y-'>, Note. •' See 1 15^. « Sec on i«. 



VIII. 1-9. The report of the miracle performed on the 
deaf and dumb man seems to have gathered a multitude 
about Jesus in Decapolis, reproducing the effects of his 
Galilean ministry. They had been with him three days, 
enough to exhaust whatever provisions they had brought 
with them, when Jesus proposes to his disciples, as in the 
preceding miracle, that they feed them. They meet his 
proposition with the same incredulity as before, but he 
simply inquires how many loaves they have. They answer 
seven, and with these and a few fishes, Jesus proceeds to 
feed the multitude, numbering four thousand men alone. 

The objection to the repetition of this miracle seems to be 
based on a misconception of our Lord's miracles. If they were 
acts of thaumaturgy, intended to reveal Jesus' power, the repeti- 
tion of this miracle would seem improbable, and the similarity of 
the two accounts would point with some probability to their 
identity. But if the real object of the miracles was to meet some 
human need, then the recurrence of like conditions would lead to 
a recurrence of the miracle. And, in the life of Jesus, with its 
frequent resort to solitary places, and the disposition of the multi- 
tude to follow him wherever he went, the emergency of a hungry 
crowd in a place where supplies were not to be obtained would be 
certain to recur. Weiss objects that there was nothing to bring 
the multitude together, and that the miracle occurred at a time 
when Jesus had definitely closed his ministry in Galilee. But 
both Mt. and Mk. lead up naturally to this event, the one stating 
directly that he was healing the sick of all kinds of a great multi- 
tude that had resorted to him (Mt. is 30 ' 31 '), and the other narrat- 
ing the report of his healing of the deaf and dumb man circulated 
by his friends throughout the region, and the excitement created 
by it. Moreover, we have here, as Weiss himself admits, the 
results of Jesus' previous visit to this region, and of the cure of 
the Gadarene demoniac, which the healed man had spread abroad 
in accordance with Jesus' express command. Do we not have 
here a solution of the real difficulty underlying Weiss' objection? 


It is true that we have in the gathering of the multitude, and the 
. stay of three days, in which Jesus must have taught and healed, 
an episode in this period of retirement that is out of harmony with 
its evident character and design. But is not the exception justifi- 
able? Here was a region where Jesus had been prevented from 
exercising his ministry by the opposition of the people, and now, 
on his first return to it, he finds the people in a different mood. 
This causes him to deflect from his purpose of retirement for a 
time, in order to exercise the ministry from which their previous 
unbelief had kept him. This seems more natural than to suppose 
that the evangelists created a second miracle out of certain minor 
variations in telling the story of the first, and then, having a mira- 
cle on their hands, proceeded to make a place for it in their nar- 

This account is found only in Mt. and Mk. The verbal resemblance of 
the two accounts is remarkable, the following words being identical. 
irpocncaXeadfxevos roi>s /xadrjTas . . . o-rrXayxvi-fyfxai iirl rbv 6x^op, on 77577 
Tpeis Tjixipai. irpoap.^uov<xi fMi, Kal ovk exovcri t'l (pdywcri . . . d7roXu<r(w) 
avroiJS vr)JT€is, €K.\vd(i)<TovTa.L) ev ttj 65(Jj . . . oi p.adrjTa.1 . . . irbdev . . . 
Xopracrai #/)t(u>j>) . iprnj.L(as^) . . . irdaovs %x €Te dprovs ; oi 5k eiirov, cnrd. 
Kal irapi)yyeiKe r«J5 5%\(fj avairecreiv iirl t9j% 777s, kcu \aj3civp toi>s eirra Aprovs, 
evxapLCTTjcras, e/cXacrej', na\ ididov rots jxaQ-qraU . . . rep ftx^-V • • • t'x^^ ta 
6X170, Kal e<payov /ecu exoprdo'drjaav . . . Trepi<rcreij(fAaTa) KXaap-druiv cirrd 
<rirvpida$ . . . reTpa/acrxi'Xicu. Among these words, v^crreis, eKkvd-qo-ovTai, 
eprifitas, and IxOvSca are peculiar, and especially the construction of yntpai 
rpets. Indeed, the occurrence of this peculiar nominative in both accounts 
would be enough to prove their dependence or interrelation. 

1. 7raA.1v 7roXAov oyXov ovros — there being again a great multi- 
tude. The reference is to the previous feeding of the five thou- 
sand (6 34 ) ; and the' representation is that in this respect, the 
circumstances were similar. In both cases, there was a great 
multitude, k. (jlyj e^oVrwi/ Ti <f>dy<i)<n 1 — and not having anything 
to eat ; this is another circumstance in which the two events were 

wdXiv ttoWov, instead of irapLiroWov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BDGLMN 
A 1, 13, 28, 33, 69, etc. Latt. Memph. 

TrpocTKaXtaafxtvos tovs fxaO-qras Ac'yei — having called his disciples, 
he says. 

1 The participle here is plural, because it belongs with a noun of multitude, 
which is taken distributively. In H <f>dyu><ri, we have the pronoun and the mood 
of direct discourse, n is irregularly substituted for 6ti, the indirect interrogative. 
The mood is quite regular. See Win. 25, 1. Goodwin, Greek Moods and Tenses, 
71. ju.rj relates this not only as a fact, but as it lay in Jesus' mind and influenced hi? 


Omit 6 Tr;<roOs after TrpoaKaXeo-dfievos, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABDK 
LMN All I, 33, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr. Omit avrov 
after roi/s /uaflTjras, Tisch. Treg. WH. n DLN A I, 28, 209, Latt. Memph. 

2. ^7rAay^vt^o/aat iirl rbv oyXov otl rjp,€pai rpeis 7rpo(rp.£vovcri fxot 1 — 
I have compassion on the multitude because they remain with me 
three days. 

ijntpai, instead of ijntpas, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ALNX m etc. 
B rj/x^pais rpial. 

This three days' stay of the multitude means of course that 
Jesus had been deflected from his purpose of retirement during 
this time, and had been drawn into his ordinary work of teaching 
and healing. And the sequence of events would indicate that the 
gathering was caused by the report of the miracle upon the deaf 
and dumb man. 

3. vrjo-reis — fasting. iKkvOrjcrovTai — they will be exhausted. 2 
koll Tives avrojv a.7r6 /xaKpoOev 3 rJKacn 4 — and some of the?7i have come 
from a distance. This is an additional reason for not sending 
them away, not the reason of their exhaustion, as in TR. 

nal rives, instead of rives ydip, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A 1, 13, 28, 
33, 209, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Insert curb before p.aKp66ev, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 1, 13, 28, 33, 69, 209, 346 (Latt.). 

4. "On iroOev tovtovs oW^o-erat ti? a>Sc ^opracrat apraiv Itt ipr}p.ias ; 

— Whence will any one be able to feed these with bread here in 
the wilderness? This failure of the disciples to recall the pre- 
vious miracle is one of the really strong reasons for doubting the 
repetition of the miracle. The objection is valid ; the stupid 
repetition of the question is psychologically impossible. But this 
does not disprove the repetition of the miracle, only this incident 
in it. All things considered, it is very much more probable that 
the accounts got mixed in this particular, than that one miracle 
should be multiplied into two. So Meyer, ^op-rao-cu 5 k-rr iprjpiias 

— literally, on a desert place ; i.e. an uninhabited place, where 
there are no supplies to be bought. 

5. Kat rjpwTa — And he asked. 01 Se ci7rav — And they said. 

i)p&Ta, instead of ixtjp^Ta, Tisch. Treg. WH. x BL A. elirap, instead 
of elirov, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BN A. 

1 On a-nkayxv^ouai, see on 1*1. T) Me >ai rpeZs is an elliptical construction for the 
ace. of duration of time. We say, " it is three days, they remain with me." Win. 
62, 2. 

2 Both these words are peculiar, ferrets is a good Greek word, but is found in 
the N.T. only here and in the parallel passage, Mt. 15 32 . The same is true of 
in\vOricroi'Ta.i in this sense of exhaustion. 

3 This adverb itself belongs to later Greek, and the combination of prep, and 
adverb is also late. With an adverb of this ending, moreover, the prep, is super- 
fluous. Win. 54, 1. 65, 2. 4 This perf. from Ji/ca> is late. Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

5 See on 642. 


6. Kat 7rapayycAA« — And he gives orders for the multitude to 
recline. The verb is used to denote the transmission of orders 
through subordinates. 1 

irapayytWei, instead of 7rop^77ciXe, gave orders, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BDL A one ms. Lat. Vet. 

evxapto-rrjo-as — having given thanks. We have in this word one 
side of the invocation at meals, and in evAoyrjo-as below, the other, 
the invocation of blessing on the food. 2 

tva TrapoLTiOuHTiv — to set before them. 

iraparidGxnv, instead of irapadwo-i, a BCLM A 13, 33, 69, 346. 

7. Kat u\av l\6vhLa z oXcya /cat evAoy^cras avTa et7re Kat Tavra 
7rapart0£i/at — And they had a few little fishes ; and having blessed 
them, he commanded to place these before them also. 

elxav, instead of clxov, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BD A. Insert airh after 
eb\oyJi<ras Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 6, 10, 28, 116, Memph. ko.1 
ravra iraparidtvat, instead of irapaOeivai ical avra, Treg. WH. RV. N BL 
A, also DM marg. iraparidtvai, and C 1 15, one ms. Lat. Vet. teal ravra. 

8. Kat tcpayov — And they ate. 

KaX %<payov, instead of %<payov 84, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCDL A I , 
28, SSf 4°> * 2 4> Latt - Memph. Pesh. 

7r€pto-o-ev/x,ara KAaoyxaTcov — literally, remnants of fragments ; i.e. 
consisting of fragments. o-n-vpiSas — On this, and the ko^lvol 
used to collect the fragments in the feeding of the five thousand, 
see on 6 43 . 

9. rjcrav 8c ok TeTpaKLorxiXioi — and they were about four thousand. 

Omit oi (p&yovres, those eating, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. N BL A ^ 


10-13. After finishing his work in Decapolis, Jesus gets 
into the boat kept for his use by the disciples, and crosses 
to the region of Dalmanutha, several miles south of his 
usual resort. But he does not escape the hostile vigilance 

1 Thay.-Grm. Lex., under KeAevw. 2 See on 6 41 . 

3 On the form elxa«\ see Thay.-Grm. Lex. i x 9v$ia is found in the N.T. only 
here and in the parallel (Mt. 15 34 ). 

144 THE G0SPEL 0F MARK [VIII. 10, 11 

of the Pharisees (Mt. says, Saddncees also), who gather 
about, dema?iding a sign from heaven, different from the 
terrestrial signs to which he has confined himself. Jesus 
asks merely, why this generation (of all generations) asks 
for a sign, and solemnly declares that no sign shall be 
given it. 

10. to ttXolov — the boat constantly in attendance on him, 3 9 4 s6 
6 32 . AaXfjiavovdd — Nothing is known of this place, which is not 
mentioned elsewhere. Probably, it was a small village near Mag- 
dala, which is the place mentioned in the parallel account, 
Mt. 15 39 . This would make it on the west shore of the lake, and 
in the southern part of the plain of Gennesareth. 

11. i$rj\0ov ol QapLo-aloi — the Pharisees came out. Jesus has 
been absent in Gentile territory since his dispute with the Phari- 
sees about the washing of hands, 7 1 sqq., and now, immediately on 
his return, they are on his track again. They came out, Meyer 
says, from their residences in the neighborhood. But see Mori- 
son's Note. All explanations are conjectural and uncertain. Mt. 
couples together Pharisees and Sadducees, and the same in the 
warning against their leaven which follows. This is ominous of 
the final situation in Jerusalem, when the combination of the 
party of the priests and of the Scribes brought about his fate. 
<rw£i/T€tv airy — to discuss with him} 

o-q/xelov a7ro rov ovpavov — a sign from heaven. This was one of 
their cavils, like their attributing Jesus' casting out of demons to 
the power of the prince of demons, by which they sought to dis- 
credit the miracles performed by him. They made a distinction 
between miracles that might be explained by reference to some 
supernatural power operating here in the world, and distinct from 
God, and those which came visibly from heaven, i.e. from the sky. 
The kind of signs demanded by them we find in the eschatological 
discourse, ch. 13, this being what they had been led to expect in 
connection with the Messianic period. See 13 2425 . The miracles 
performed by Jesus were none of them, they thought, from this 
ource. They were walking on the water, creating earthly food, 
healing human diseases, and so confined to this world. What 
they wanted was a voice from heaven, or anything coming from 
above. 7reipa£ovTes avrov — testing him. They wanted to put his 
power to perform miracles, or to produce them, to the test, and 
to see if he was able to give them a sign in which there should be 
no possibility of collusion with the powers that rule this lower 

1 The proper meaning of w^nlv is to search or inquire in company. This 
meaning discuss is peculiar to the N.T. 


world. The uniform use of tempt to translate this verb is very 

12. dvao-reva^as t<o 7rvev/xaTt — having groaned in spirit, i.e. 
inwardly, not audibly. Ti rj yevea avrrj £rjT& o-rjfxtiov ; — Why does 
this generation seek a sign ? 

frjTet <rr)fxeiop, instead of <rrj/ieiov e7rif>;rct, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n 
BCDLA 1,28,33, "8,209. 

ci 8o6rj<reTai . . . o-qfxeiov — if a sign shall be given / This 

is a case of suppressed apodosis, and is a common Hebrew form 
of oath or asseveration. 1 By a-qix&ov is meant a work which has 
either for its object, or result, the proof of the Divine presence 
and power. This is a denial that his own miracles had this pur- 
pose. All of them were uses of Divine power, but not displays 
of it. Any self-respecting man will refuse to show himself off, but 
he will constantly do things having other legitimate objects, which 
do show incidentally his intelligence, or strength, or goodness. 
This is the attitude of Jesus. He refuses to do anything merely 
as a sign, and yet his life was full of signs ; nay, it was a sign, he 
himself was the sign. Indeed, the only element about his mira- 
cles which will save them from the general disbelief of the mirac- 
ulous is the consonance of their objects with the character of 
Jesus. No one could have devised the story of a miracle-working 
person, and have kept the story true to Jesus' principles and char- 
acter. The wonderful thing about the miracles is that the Divine 
power shown in them is kept to uses befitting the Divine Being. 
rrj yevea tolvty) — to this generation. Jesus refuses especially to 
give a sign to that generation. It was an age full of signs ; it was 
the period of the Incarnation, and yet its leaders went about ask- 
ing for signs, and refused to believe the self-witness of the Son of 


13-21. Jesus does not remain in this hostile region, but 
crosses again to the east side. On the way, he warns the 
disciples against the unspiritual influences of the Pharisees 
— men who ask him for a sign — and, in order that they 
may not go from formalism to irreligion, also against the 
leaven of Herod. The disciples, who had forgotten to take 
bread, think that he is speaking of literal leaven. Where- 

1 See Win. 55, Note at end. 


upon, Jesus asks them if they are as dull as the rest to his 
spiritual meanings, and if they have forgotten how easily 
he provided for the lack of material food. 

13. ifxfias 7raA.1v, aurrjXOev — having embarked again, he departed. 
Omit et's t6 it\oTop, in the boat, Tisch. WH. RV. n BCL A mss. of Latt. 

'Opare, fiXc-vere airo rrj<s £v/xr)<s — Take heed, beware of the leaven} 
The word t,v\kt) is used figuratively in Bib. Greek for a pervasive 
influence, either good or bad, though generally the latter, owing 
to the ceremonial depreciation of leaven among the Hebrews. 
The leaven of the Pharisees is their general spirit, including 
hypocrisy, ostentation, pride, formalism, pettiness, and the like ; 
cf. Mt. 23. Here, where Jesus is fresh from his controversy with 
them about signs, the thing specially in his mind would be the 
spirit that leads them to ask for a sign, when his whole life and 
teaching was a sign. It would be, in a word, their unspirituality, 
their blindness to spiritual things, which led them to seek outward 
proof of inward realities. The leaven of Herod, on the other 
hand, was worldliness. The Herods were professed Jews, who 
sought to leaven Judaism with the customs of heathenism. They 
represented the escape from the rigors and scruples of Pharisaism 
into the license and irreligion of the world, instead of into the 
freedom of a spiritual religion. But the escape from spiritual 
blindness does not lie that way. 

16. Kcu SitXoyi^ovTO -nrpbs dAX^ Aovs, "Ort aprovs ovk l^ofxcv {t\ov(Tiv) 
— And they reasoned with each other, {it is) because we have {or 
they have) no bread. Probably, with either Ixop-ev or Zypvo-iv, on 
is causal, and there is an ellipsis of the principal clause. 

Omit Xeyovres, saying, after irpbs dWr/Xovs, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BD I, 
28, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. exov<rtp, instead of ex o t JL€V > Treg. WH. RV. marg. 
B 1, 28, 209, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph., also D mss. Lat. Vet. {quod 
panes non haberent). 

The disciples were themselves so blind spiritually, that they 
attributed a material sense to Christ's spiritual sayings. They 
thought that he was warning them, in the very spirit of the 
Pharisees themselves, against food contaminated by them. Their 
thoughts were on their neglect to take bread, and so leaven, or 
yeast, suggested to them bread. 

17. Kcu yvovs Xiyu avTols, Tt cUaA.oyi'£eo-0€, on aprovs ovk cx ctc — 
And perceiving it, he says to them, Why do you reason {it is), 
because you have no bread ? 

Omit 6 'Itjo-oOs, before X^yei, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. n B A* one ms. Lat. 
Vet. Memph. 

1 This meaning of ^Xe'Trnf is foreign to the verb in earlier Greek, and the con- 
struction with a-n6 is borrowed from the Heb. It is a pregnant construction, and is 
resolvable into look to yourselves, and so keep from. Win. 32, 1. 


TTvir(iip<i>fxivr)v cx CTC T V V * a p$tav vfiiov ; — have you your understand- 
ing dulled? 1 

18, 19. Tisch. punctuates these verses so that they read, Having 
eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear, and do you 
not remember, when I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, 
and how many baskets full of fragments you took up ? WH. read, 
Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? 
And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves among the 
five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments you took tip? 
This latter punctuation is the most probable. 

Insert koX before ir6<rovs, Tisch. n CDM A 1, 33, mss. of Latt. 

By his reference to the miracles of feeding the five thousand, 
and the four thousand, Jesus means to remind them that he has 
shown them his ability to provide for their lack of bread in an 
emergency, so that they need not fix their thoughts on that, nor 
think that his mind is occupied with it. The question about the 
baskets of broken pieces is intended to suggest the bounty of the 
provision made. It is noticeable that the distinction between 
o-TTvpLSes and ko^lvol in the two miracles is kept up here in Jesus' 
allusion to them. 

20. Kat \iyova-Lv (avT<o), 'E^ra — And they say {to him), seven. 

koX \4yov<nv, instead of 01 8t eiirop, and they said, Tisch. n one ms. Lat. 
Vet. Pesh. ical teyovcriv aiirQ, Treg. marg. WH. RV. BCL A 1 15, two 
mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

21. Ovttq) crwtcTc ; — Do you not yet understand? 

Omit ttwj, How, Tisch. WH. RV. n CKL An 1, 118, 127, 209, one ms. 
Lat. Vet. oi/7rw, instead of oi, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ACDS 1 - LMNUX 
An mss. Lat. Vet. Syrr. 


22-26. Jesus and his disciples land at Bethsaida, on the 
east side of the lake. There a blind man is brought him 
to be healed with the usual touch. But Jesus, still in quest 
of retirement, and so more than ever anxious to avoid the 
notoriety attending his miracles, takes the man outside of 
the village. He employs the same signs to tell him what is 
being do?ie for him as in the case of the deaf and dumb 
man in Decapolis. But here, for the first and only time, 
there is something to obstruct the immediateness of the cure, 

1 On the meaning of nupovv r^v <apSiav, see on 3 s . 


and at first, the man sees only men looking like trees walk- 
ing about. Jesus laid his hands again upon his eyes, and 
the man saw clearly. Then Jesus, in order to prevent the 
story spreading, ordered him not even to enter the village 
where he is known. 

22. Kat epxovrai eis B^flo-aiSdV — And they come to Bethsaida. 

koX ipxovrai, instead of tpx^ai, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCDL A 13, 
28, 33, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. 

23. e£rjveyK€v avrbv c£w 7-775 kG/a^s — he brought him outside of 
the village. In the only other miracle recorded by Mk. alone 
(7 31 " 37 ), there is this same privacy observed. The two coming 
together at the same period of our Lord's life would seem to 
indicate that there was some reason for the peculiarity common 
to them both, arising from the critical character of the period in 
Lis life. It was not the period of his miracles, nor of his public 
teachings, but of retirement with his disciples ; and hence the 
even unusual secrecy attending such miracles as he did perform. 
7TTvo-as — having spit. This also is peculiar to this pair of 

itfveyKev, instead of itfyayev, he led him out, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BCL 33. 

crrrypwTa avrbv el rt, /3A.«r«9 ; — he asked him, do you see any- 
thing? 1 

This reading, instead of e! ti /SX6r«, if he sees anything, Treg. marg. 
WH. non marg. RV. BCD*^- A Memph. 

24. /?A.c7tw rovs avOpuirovs on, etc. — The AV., / see men as 

trees walki?ig, ignores this on. RV., I see men; for I see them as 
trees walking. That is, what would otherwise be taken by him 
for trees he knows to be men by their walking around. This 
indistinctness of vision is due not to the confusion of his ideas 
arising from his previous blindness, but to the incompleteness of 
his cure. This is the single case of a gradual cure in our Lord's 
life, and the narrative gives us no clue to the meaning of it. But 
we have no right to argue from this single case that gradualness 
was the ordinary method of Jesus' cures. 2 

25. EZra 7raA.1v intOrjKe {IBrjKev) — then again he laid. 

edr]K€v, instead of iirid-qKev, Treg. WH. BL. 

1 This use of ei in direct questions is not found in classical Greek, but belongs 
to the N.T. period. Win. 57, 2. 

2 So Weiss, Life of Jesus, 2, 97. 3, 23. 

VIII. 25, 26] A BLIND MAN HEALED 1 49 

Kal 8Uj3\e\J/cv, Kai arr€KaT€CTTr}, kcu ivefiXerrcv S^Aavyws a7ravra — 
and he looked fixedly, and was restored, and saw all things clearly. 

dtSpXeifrev, instead of iwolrja-ev avrbv dva/3Xtycu, he made him look up, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L A I, 28, 209, 346 (one ms. Lat. Vet. 
Memph.). aire icare" art), instead of airoKaTeo-T&di), Tisch. Treg. WH. x 
BCL A. 5r)\avyQs, instead of TijXavyQs, Tisch. WH. marg. n* CL A 
(33 StJXws). diravra, all things, instead of iirauras, all men, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. n BC* DLM ? A 1, 13, 69, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Syrr. Memph. 

$u(3\ei{/ev denotes the act of fixing his eyes on things, by which 
he would be able to distinguish them. BrjXavySx; is compounded 
of &7A.0S and avyrj, and denotes clearness of vision. TrjXavyux;, 
TR., denotes distant sight. 1 

26. MrjSe eis rrjv Koi^rjv clo-eXOrjs — do not even go into the village. 
The man was to return to his house, which was outside of the 
village, and so far from publishing his cure in the village, he was 
not even to enter it. 

Omit firjSe etirr)* nvl iv K&fLTj, nor tell it to any one in the village, Tisch. 
(Treg. marg.) RV. WH. x^^'BLi, 209, Memph. 2 

Attention should be called to the characteristics of the two 
miracles narrated by Mk. alone, both of which, moreover, belong 
to the period of Jesus' retirement, and to localities inhabited by 
a mixed Jewish and heathen population, and unfrequented by 
him in his previous ministry. In both the healing of the deaf and 
dumb man in Decapolis, and that of the blind man at Beth- 
saida, Jesus takes the man aside before performing the cure, and. 
uses spittle on the parts affected. In the second, the healing of 
the blind man, the cure is gradual. As to the withdrawal from the 
multitude, the purpose is obvious. The miracles belong to the 
period of retirement, and Jesus takes more than usual pains to 
guard against notoriety. A secondary effect, if not purpose, in 
the case of the deaf and dumb man, would be to fix his attention 
on what Jesus was about to do for him. As to the use of the 
spittle, it is commonly regarded as extraordinary, and naturally so, 
as these are the only cases in the Synoptical Gospels in which 
Jesus employs any other means than the laying on of hands. In 
the case of the deaf and dumb man, the reason for this excep- 
tional treatment appears in the condition of the man. The 
thrusting of the hands into the man's ears, the spitting into them ; 

1 SijiVavyis is a rare word. 

2 The translation of ^Se . . . /xrjfie, neither . . . nor, AV., is wrong. /onjSe is dis 
junctive, and the first M Tj6e is to be rendered Not even. Win. 55, 6 a). 


the looking up to heaven, are the language of signs, by which 
Jesus seeks to awaken the faith of the man necessary to his cure. 
Certainly the thrusting of the hands into his ears is that, and the 
rest goes along with this symbolical act. In the case of the blind 
man, extraordinary conditions are not lacking, though not of the 
same kind. Jesus is in an unfamiliar region, and the man's blind- 
ness withdraws him more or less from even the knowledge that 
those about him would have of this extraordinary personage. In 
these circumstances, Jesus uses something more than the ordinary 
laying on of hands, which would tell its story so quickly to a Jew 
accustomed to his ordinary procedure, and substitutes what we 
may call a more elaborate and significant ritual of cure. The 
gradualness of the cure in this case would arise out of the same 
extraordinary conditions. Jesus is contending here against a dull, 
slow-moving faith, which hinders the ordinary immediateness of 
the cure. This explanation matches the extraordinary methods 
and process of the cure with the extraordinary conditions of the 

On the other hand, Weiss, ignoring the peculiar conditions, 
treats both the process and the gradualness of the cure as repre- 
senting Jesus' ordinary method and the rationale of the miracles. 
These are the two cases, he says, in which Mk. goes into details 
in telling the story of the miracles, and the matter contained in 
them, therefore, is to be read into the other accounts. The diffi- 
culty in this is to account for the choice of these two isolated 
cases for the introduction of these details. It is easy to account 
for them as peculiarities belonging to an exceptional period in the 
life of Jesus, but not at all easy to account for the choice of these, 
the very last of the miracles, to bring out material belonging to 
them all, but hitherto unrelated by Mk., and omitted altogether 
in the other evangelists. Moreover, it is very singular that this 
gradual cure occurs in the Gospel which emphasizes most the 
immediateness of the cures. Out of the eleven miracles of heal- 
ing recorded in Mk., five speak directly of the immediateness of 
the cure, and of the rest three give circumstances implying the 
same. And yet, we are told that in this Gospel, the one account 
of gradual cure establishes the form to which the others must be 
conformed. As for the use of the spittle, that is treated as an 
actual means of cure, not as a symbol or sign. So Meyer. How- 


ever, it is allowed that the curative power infused into this came 
from above. And this again is normal, telling us what really hap- 
pened in the other cases. A means, which yet has no power in 
itself, only what is infused into it supernaturally. This is truly a 
tertium quid, and as long as it introduces into the miracles noth- 
ing of the nature of a secondary cause, it may be ranked among 
the curiosities of religious speculation. 


27-30. Jesus having landed at Bethsaida, proceeds to 
Ccesarea Philippi, at the foot of Mt. Hermon, a region hither- 
to unvisited by him. On the journey here he gains the privacy 
for which he had been seeking, and questions the disciples 
as to what men say about him. They tell him that he is 
called variously John the Baptist, Elijah, and one of the 
prophets. Then comes the question for which all his life 
with them had prepared the way, what title they are ready 
to give him. Peter, speaking for the rest, says, Thou art 
the Messiah. But Jesus, having drawn this confession 
from them, charges them to tell no one else. 

27. cts t. Kw/Aas Kaio-aptas 1-779 <1>iA.iWov — into the villages of 
Ccesarea Philippi. Mt. says, into the parts of Casarea Philippi. 
The district is called here by the name of its principal city, 
and the villages were those belonging to that district. The 
city is near the sources of the Jordan, about 25 miles north of 
the lake of Galilee. Panium was the original name of the city, 
from the god Pan, who had a sanctuary here. The town was 
enlarged and beautified by Herod Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis, 
to whose territory it belonged, and was given its new name in honor 
of the emperor and of himself. Philippi distinguishes it from 
Caesarea on the coast. It marks the most northern part of our 
Lord's journeyings. His coming here was for the general purpose 
of his later Galilean ministry, to talk with his disciples in retirement 
of the approaching crisis in his life. TtVa /*e \eyov<nv ol avdp<D7roi 
dvai ; — Who do men say that I am? This is the first time that 
Jesus has approached this question, even in the circle of his dis- 
ciples. The characteristic of his teaching has been its imper- 


sonality. His subject has been the Kingdom of God, its law, the 
conditions of membership in it, but not the person of its King. 
He has made approaches to this personal subject in the announce- 
ment of the coming of the kingdom, implying the presence of the 
King, and has made a veiled claim to the title in calling himself 
the Son of Man, but these hints and suggestions have been all. 
■ We should be inclined to call his styling himself the Son of Man 
something more than a veiled claim, if it were not that the people 
and rulers were manifestly in doubt, as this very event shows, as 
to the nature of his claim. y This constitutes the great difference 
between the Synoptical Gospels and the fourth Gospel, since in 
the latter, Jesus discourses principally about himself and his claim. 

28. clwav avT<$ XeyovTc? — they told him, saying. The verb and 
the participle are so nearly identical in meaning, that their juxta- 
position here is quite difficult to account for. On the different 
answers to the question of Jesus, — John the Baptist, Elijah, one 
of the prophets, see on 6 14 . 

elirav instead of aircKpid-qaav, answered, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. cIttov 
RV. n BC* and2 L A one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. Insert au-ry X^- 
yovTK, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* DL A 13, 28, 69, 124, 282, 346, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. '6n eh rQ>v Trpo<pt)Tuv, instead of tva r. ir. Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L Memph. 

29. Kat avros iirrjpuiTa. avrovs — And he asked them. 

twr)pd)Ta atfroiJs, instead of \£yei atiroTs, he says to them, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BC* DL A 53 mss. Lat. Vet. 

'Y/ms o€ riva. fxc \iyere elvai ; — But who do you say that I am ? 
"Y^eis is emphatic in itself, and by its position. 1 When the 
announcement of Jesus' Messianic character is made, it does not 
come from himself, but is drawn out of the disciples by this ques- 
tion. He would have them enjoy the blessedness of not receiving 
it from flesh and blood, i.e. by oral communication, even from 
himself, but of that inward reception by silent communication 
from the Father which is the only source of true knowledge of 
spiritual things. See Mt. 16 17 . He manifested himself to them, 
admitting them to an intimate companionship and intercourse 
with himself ; and when he had made his impression on them, he 
drew from them the confession made under the guidance of the 
Spirit, that he was no inferior and preparatory personage in the 
Messianic Kingdom, but the King himself. Here, as everywhere, 
Jesus' method is the truly spiritual one, that depends very little on 
external helps, but on the silent movings of the Spirit of God. 
6 rUVpo? Aey« — This is the first time in the Gospel that Peter 
appears as the spokesman of the disciples. 2v d 6 X/hotos — 
thou art the Christ. On the meaning of Xpto-rds, see on i 1 . 

1 Win. 22, 6. 


30. era (xrjhzvl Xeytoanv — that they tell no one. The silence that 
Jesus enjoins on them is due to the same reasons as his own 
silence up to this time, and his breaking it only when he was 
alone with them. It was esoteric doctrine as yet, that only those 
could receive, who knew something about the Messianic office on 
the one hand, and about the person of Jesus on the other. In the 
prevalent misconception c/ the Messiah, such an announcement 
would work only disaster. ^The time was coming for it, but when 
it did come, the tragedy of Jesus' life followed immediately.^ 


31-33. After drawing out from his disciples the confession 
of his Messianic claim, Jesus proceeds to tell them how that 
claim will be treated by the authorities. In general, it will 
bring him much suffering, and finally his rejection and 
violent death at the hands of the Sanhedrim, from which, 
however, he will be raised after three days. Peter, who 
evidently regards this as a confession of defeat, and as 
vacating the claim just made, takes Jesus aside, and begins 
to rebuke him. But Jesus, recognizing in this tlie very 
spirit of the Temptation, meets rebuke with rebuke, telling 
Peter that he is acting the part of the Tempter, and that 
he reflects the mind of men, not of God. 

31. rjpiaro StSacrKctv — he began to teach. This is a true begin- 
ning, being the first teaching of this kind. 1 Set — it is necessary. 
The necessity arises, first, from the hostility of men; secondly, 
from the spiritual nature of his work, which made it impossible 
for him to oppose force to force ; and thirdly, from the providen- 
tial purpose of God, who made the death of Jesus the central 
thing in redemption. But in order to take its place in the 
Divine order, his death must come in the human, natural order. 
That is to say, his death is the natural result of the antagonism of 
his holy nature to the world ; it is the martyr's death. But it has 
also a Divine purpose in it, and it is necessary to the accomplish- 
ment of that purpose. The Divine purpose can use, however, 
only the death that results from the human necessity, the martyr's 

l Thay.-Grm. Lex. 


i54 THE GOSPEL OF MARK \ [VIII. 31, 32 

death. Jesus must be put to death by man. rbv vlbv rov avOpu)- 
7rov * 7ro\\a TToJbCiv — that the Son of Man suffer many things. This 
is the general statement, under which the rejection and death are 
specifications, virb t&v 7rpeo-/3vT€pun> kou tojv dp^iepecov k. tw ypa/x- 
/aareW — by the elders and the chief priests and the Scribes. 

irrb. by, instead of dTrd, 2 Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDGKL II. Insert 
tG>v, the, before dpx^p4iov Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDEHMSUVX, and 
before ypapnariuv Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDEFHLSMUV T. 

Elders was the general term for the members of the Sanhedrim, 
and when used as it is here, with the names of classes comprised 
in that body, it denotes, of course, the other members outside of 
these classes. The chief priests were members of the high-priestly 
class, i.e. either the high priest himself, those who had held the 
office, or members of the privileged families from which the high 
priests were taken. The three classes together constituted the 
Sanhedrim, or supreme council of the Jews, by which Jesus pre- 
dicts that he is to be rejected and put to death. 3 kol p-tra rpets 
f)pL€pa<s avao-Trjvai — and after three days rise again. This is one 
of the psychological problems with which we are confronted in a 
history generally answering with considerable exactness to such 
tests. For when we come to the account of the resurrection, this 
prophecy plays no part. The event, when it takes place, does 
not recall the prophecy, and is met with a persistent unbelief 
which does not seem in any way consonant with the existence of 
such a prophecy. It would seem as if Jesus must have used lan- 
guage here, which the disciples did not understand, until after the 
resurrection itself, to refer to that event. That Jesus predicted 
the crucifixion and resurrection, there does not seem to be any 
reasonable doubt. But we find variations in the details, which 
suggest that these were supplied by- the writers, post eventum, and 
that the prediction itself was general in its character. Moreover, 
we find in the eschatological discourse, that Jesus' language needs 
a key, and we seem forced to the supposition that the utter failure 
of the disciples to understand the present prophecy must have 
been due to a like enigmatical use of language. Trafiprfaia — with- 
out any reserve, using entire frankness of speech. Now that the 
time had come for Jesus to speak about this, he spoke out frankly. 

32. 7rpo(rXa(36pi€vo<; avrov — having taken him aside. Peter 
could not understand plain speech about a matter to be spoken 
of only under his breath. Metaphorically, he puts his finger on 
his lips, and says Hush. He does not wish further open discus- 
sion of so dangerous a topic, and so he takes Jesus aside even to 

1 See on 228. 

2 On the distinction between v-rro and i™ after passives, see Win. 47 b) Note. 
» See Schiirer, N. Zg. II. I. III. IV. 


remonstrate with him. liriTi^av — to rebuke. Such an idea as 
his master had announced was not only to be refuted, but rebuked 
as unworthy of him. This would be the way in which he would 
reconcile it with his sense of his Lord's dignity to rebuke him ; a 
thing that he would not think of doing except as he thought that 
Jesus was himself underrating that dignity. He had just allowed 
the Messianic claim made for him by the disciples, and now he 
seemed to be predicting defeat, whereas it belonged to the Mes- 
siah not to be defeated. 

33. c7rio-Tpa<£ets — having turned, that is, upon Peter. But as 
he turned on him, it brought the rest of the disciples to view, 
and having seen the effect of Peter's action on them, he was 
moved to special plainness of speech. eireri/u^o-e II expo) ko.1 Ac'yei — 
he rebuked Peter and says. Notice the repetition of the eVin/xav of 
v. 32 . Peter had assumed to rebuke him, and now he rebukes 

koX \tyei, instead of X^ywj/, saying, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A two 
mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

"Yiraye oirUna fxov — "Y-n-aye denotes withdrawal, get away. And the 
whole phrase means, Get out of my sight. Sarava — Satan. Our 
Lord is not calling names here, but indicating in strong language 
the part that Peter is playing. He is putting temptation in our 
Lord's way, and is so acting the role of Satan. Jesus recognizes 
that it is not Peter in propria persona that is speaking, but the 
Spirit of evil speaking through him, just as he recognized the 
invisible Tempter in the wilderness (Mt. 4 10 ). <f>povcl<: — thou 
thinkest not, thou dost not regard. cppovelv rd twos means to side 
with one} Peter did not keep in mind God's purposes, but 
men's. He did not look at things as God looks at them, but as 
men regard them, and hence he played the part of the Adver- 
sary, the Tempter. And it was not a minor and incidental 
temptation, but the great thing that separates God's ways and 
man's, the temptation to consider himself, instead of imitating 
God's self-sacrifice. 


34-IX. 1. Jesus now calls up the multitude, having 
closed the purely esoteric part of his teaching, relating to 
his own fate, and teaches them that the condition of disciple- 

1 Thay.-Grm. Lex. 


ship is self-denial, and following him even to death. He 
bases this on the general principle that to lose life is to save 
it, and to save it is to lose it. And there is no profit in 
gaining the whole world and losing ones life, because that 
is an irreparable loss. Nothing will buy it back. These 
idtimate gains and losses follow a mans attitude towards 
Him because the Son of Man is to return in the glory of 
his Father, and will then be ashamed of the man who is 
now ashamed of Him. 

34. rbv ox^ov — the multitude. It seems from this, that in 
spite of his being away from his usual place of work, and in 
heathen territory, Jesus was surrounded by a crowd of people. 
And his language implies that they had some knowledge of him. 
Et tis 6£\ei 6ttl(to> fxov aKoXovOeiv — If any one wishes to follow after 
me. A figurative expression of discipleship. 1 

El T«, instead of Arris, Treg. WH. RV. s BC* DL A Latt. Hard. marg. 
aKo\ovdeiv, instead of £\deiv, Tisch. Treg. C* DX I, 28, most mss. Lai. 
Vet. Vulg. The rare combination, found elsewhere only Mt. io 38 , is fairly 
conclusive of the originality of the reading. 

aTrapvrjo-do-do) iavrbv — let him deny himself. The person is 
made here the direct object of the verb, not the indirect. He is 
not to deny something to himself, but he is to renounce himself. 
He is to cease to make himself the object of his life and action. 
The verb is the same that is used to denote Peter's denial of his 
Master, and means to deny that one stands in a supposed relation 
to another, and hence to reject, or renounce. To deny self is 
therefore to deny the relation of self-interest and control which 
a man is supposed to hold to himself, in the interest of humanity 
and of God ; in other words, to renounce himself. It is the nega- 
tive side of the command to love, and like that, does not refer to 
special acts, but to a change of the fundamental principle of 
life. k. dparw tw crravpbv avrov — and take up his cross. This 
is a phase, the extreme phase of the self-denial which Jesus has 
just demanded. Let him deny himself, and carry out that self- 
denial even to death. The cross does not mean here any dis- 
agreeable thing, but the instrument of death. The criminal 
carried his own cross to the place of execution, and so, to take 
up the cross means to go to the place of death. The equivalent 
of it in our language would be to go to the gallows or the stake. 

1 See on x l7 ~ w . The use of bniau after iicokovOelv is a Hebraism. Win. 33, 
Note. Thay.-Grm. Lex. 


The idea is, that a disciple is to follow the example of Jesus in 
giving up everything, even life itself, that belongs to the selfish 
interests, sooner than anything belonging to the higher purposes 
of life. k. aKoXovdcLTO) /xoi — and follow me. This is not a third 
thing added to the self-denial and cross-bearing, but a repetition 
of the 67rtcro> fxov aKoXovOeiv of the conditional part of the sentence. 
The meaning is, that in these two things, self-denial and cross- 
bearing, is to be found the way to follow him. 

35. *Os yap eav OeXrj — For whoever wishes} os S' av dVoAeW — 
but whoever shall lose. 2 owei avrrjv (omit ovto?, this one) will 
save it. 

ikv before eiky, instead of &p, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BCKM An 1, 28, 33. 
d7ro\6rei, instead of airoXtvy, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BCD 2 TA. Omit ovtos 
before <r<6<r«, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABC* DLM* X An Latt. Memph. 

Jesus has just bidden them to sacrifice even their lives, and this 
gives the reason for that bidding, showing them that this is really 
the way to save their lives. The paradox consists in the two 
meanings of the word life. In the first clause, it means the 
bodily life, and in the second, the true life of the spirit, which is 
independent of that bodily condition. The general principle is, 
that there is no such thing as ultimate loss in the kingdom of God. 
And in this case, a man loses his life only to receive it again 
enriched and multiplied. He sacrifices himself so far as he is 
identified with lower interests, only to become absorbed in higher 
and larger interests, in righteousness and love, in God and man. 
cvckcv ifxov koll tov evayycktov — for the sake of me and of the 
Gospel. Here we have the higher objects stated, for which a man 
sacrifices himself, and in which the merely personal life is ab- 
sorbed. He becomes absorbed, in the first place, in a higher 
personality, that of Jesus, the Redeemer, and the head of the 
Messianic kingdom, who represents interests human and universal. 
And all personal interests become merged in those of the Gospel, 
the glad-tidings that Jesus brings, that the kingdom of God is 
coming. This coming is involved in the advent of its king. 3 It 
is as a man loses himself in so great and high things, that he finds 
himself, and as he sacrifices his life in their behalf, that he saves 
it. Only in such things is there any true life. 

1 On the use of eav for av after relatives, see Win. 43, Note at end. Also foot- 
note 2 , p. 156. 

2 On the fut. ind. with 6? av, see Burton, 308, who notes it as a N.T. use. Win. 
42, 3 b, cites only LXX passages, as the N.T. passages occur only in the various 
critical texts. There is a use of the future indicative in classical Greek with av, but 
not in conditional or relative clauses. And there is a use of the future in condi- 
tional relative clauses, but without av. This construction is therefore anomalous. 
See Goodwin, Greek Moods and Tenses, 61, 3, Note ; 50, I, Note I ; 37, 2, Note 1. 

8 See on i 1 - *«. 15 ; c f. Mt. 42s Q 35 24H. 


36. rt yap <o<£e\et av6po)7rov KepS^crat . . . kclI ffajUtoOjpNU . . . ; 

— for what does it profit a man to gain . . . , and to forfeit . . . ? 

axpe\e?, instead of «0e\i$<ret, Tisch. WH. RV. n BL mss. Lat. Vet. Pesh. 
KepSrja-ai, instead of tav KcpSforji and fafuuSrjnu, instead of iav fyfuwdrj, 
Tisch. WH. RV. n BL. 

£r)fiia)Or}vaL — to forfeit The word commonly means to lose by 
way of penalty, to forfeit. The argument is carried forward here 
no longer in the contrast between the two lives, the tyvyf) in its 
two senses, but in the contrast between the if/vxq and the Koa/xos. 
And this is pertinent, because the earthly life is measured gen- 
erally by outward gains, while the spiritual life is valued for itself. 
In the one, a man is worth dollars and cents, in the other, his 
worth is a matter of his own excellence, the quality and range of 
his being. The question is thus between that life which consists 
mainly in having, and that which consists in being. And to be, in 
the true sense, means to have the life of God in us. The con- 
trast is made as strong as possible by making the gain the koo-/aos, 
the sum total of things. 

37. Ti yap Sol x — For what shall a man give ? avrdWayfxa — 
as an exchange. The questions means, if a man has forfeited his 
life, by what price or ransom can he buy it back? It is the 
rhetorical form of saying that the loss is irrevocable. It is the 
irrevocableness of the loss that makes the gain to be nothing by 
its side. The whole world, if a man had it, would not buy back 
his life, if he lost it. 

ri yap, instead of y rt, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A 28, one ms. Lat. 
Vet. Memph. dot, instead of 86<rei, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n*B (n c L 
5y) iav, instead of Slp, Tisch. Treg. WH. x BCEFLMVX TA. 

38. os yap iav — for whoever? The argument does not con- 
nect this with the special statement that immediately precedes, 
but with the entire statement of which that forms a part. It 
shows how these general statements are to be applied to man's 
relations to Christ ; how these relations can affect their lives so 
profoundly — a question that might easily be suggested to his 
listeners by the amazing character of his assumptions. The pres- 
ent situation, he says, is to be changed. He who seems to them 
now so easily to be set aside is to appear eventually as the Son of 
Man, coming in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels. 
Now, they are ashamed of him, it may be ; then he will be 
ashamed of them. The announcement of Jesus' Messiahship 
(v. 29 ) is followed immediately by the prophecy of his humilia- 

1 An irregular form of sec. aor. subj. for Sep. The mood is that of deliberative 
questions. Win. 41 a, 4 b. 

2 This use of kkv for kv is due to the use of kv as a contracted form of lav, lead- 
ing to a mistaken use of the two as interchangeable. See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 


tion and death; and that by the statement that life and death 
hang upon the acceptance and imitation of him ; now this is justi- 
fied by the prophecy of his reign. Verily, Jesus' reticence about 
himself, that has been so characteristic of his teaching so far, is 
here broken. /xotxaAt'St — adulterous. The figure represents sin 
as unfaithfulness to the close relation in which God seeks to put 
man to himself. It is a favorite figure of the prophets. 

IX. 1. This verse belongs with the preceding discourse by the 
most obvious connection of thought. He has spoken of the 
coming of the Son of Man in the glory of his Father ; and here 
he states the time of that coming. For the coming of the Son of 
Man is everywhere identified with the coming of the kingdom. 
Cf. Mt. 16 28 , where this coming is spoken of as the coming of the 
Son of Man in his kingdom. The reason for placing the verse in 
the ninth chapter is that those who made the division supposed 
that the glorifying of Jesus in the Transfiguration was the event 
referred to here. But that would not be described as a coming of 
the Son of Man in power ; nor would an event only a week dis- 
tant be spoken of as taking place before some of those present 
should die. That language implies that most of them would be 
dead, while a few would live to see the great event. No, this 
coming of the kingdom is to be identified with the coming of the 
Son of Man. Nothing else will satisfy the context. And this 
coincides with everything that Jesus says about the time of that 
coming. See ch. 13 30 , and parallel passages in Mt. and Lk. This 
then lets in a flood of light upon the meaning of that coming, as 
it declares that it was to be before some of those before him 
should taste of death. If his words are to stand therefore, it was 
to be events belonging to the generation after his death which ful- 
filled the prophecy of his coming, and of the establishment of his 
kingdom. And in this case, the kingdom was to be spiritual, and 
the agencies in its establishment were to be the Spirit of God and 
the providence of God in human affairs. 

Here, as in the eschatological discourse, ch. 13, the coming is 
referred to as an understood thing, whereas there has been no 
teaching in regard to it. The same remark applies here as in the 
teaching about the death and resurrection. We cannot account 
for the expectation, which colored the whole life of the early 
church, without some prophecy of it. But on the other hand, 
the absence of expectation in the period between the death and 
resurrection is unaccountable if the prophecy was of this definite 



IX. 2-8. Jesus goes up into a mountain, with Peter, 
James, and John, and is transfigured before them. The 
heavenly visitors. The voice from heaven. 

A week after the conversation with the disciples in regard to his 
death, Jesus goes, with the three disciples who stood nearest to 
him, up into the neighboring mountain, and was transfigured be- 
fore them. As it is described, this transfiguration consisted in an 
extraordinary white light emitted from his whole person. Accom- 
panying this was an appearance of Moses and Elijah talking with 
him. Peter, frightened out of his wits by the amazing scene, 
proposes to fix and retain it by building huts for Jesus and the 
heavenly visitors up there on the mountain side. But a cloud 
came over them, and a voice proceeded from it, as at the baptism, 
This is my beloved Son ; hear him. And suddenly, looking around, 
they saw no one but Jesus. 

2. T^cpas e£ — six days. Lk. says, about eight days. We can 
easily get rid of one of the two days which separate these two 
accounts, as the Jews confounded after seven days with on the 
seventh day by reckoning both the dies a quo and the dies ad quern 
in the former expression, as in the account of the resurrection. 
But the other day needs the oxret of Lk., about eight days, to re- 
move the discrepancy. 

t. Yiirpov k. t. 'Lzkw/W k. (T.yiuxivvrjv — These three formed the 
inner circle of the twelve, whom Jesus took with him_ on three 
great occasions, the raisin g of the da ughter f Jairns, the Trans- 
figuration, andjth e scene inthe garden of -Gethsemane. elTopos 
vif/rjXov — into a high mountain. What mountain is meant, we do 
not know, except that it was probably in the vicinity of Caesarea 
Philippi, and so belonged to the Hermon range. See 8 21 . 

/car' iStav fxovovs — apart alone. This account gives no reason 
for this privacy, and Mt. is equally silent. But Lk. tells us that 
Jesus went up into the mountain to pray. This gives a rational 
turn to the whole occurrence, leaving us to suppose that the trans- 
figuration was incidental to it, and not the purpose of our Lord's 
going up into the mountain. He was glorified before the dis- 
ciples, but it is quite out of character for him to deliberately set 
about such a transaction. This opens the way for another sug- 
gestion as to the real character of the event. Jesus would be led 
to special prayer at this time by the events on which it seems that 
his mind was fixed, and which formed the subject of conversation 


between himself and his disciples. The subject of his discourse 
at this period was the approaching tragical end of his life. And 
it is Lk. again, who tells us that this was the subject of conversa- 
tion between himself and the heavenly visitants at this time. It 
looks then, as if this was a case in which the mind of the writer 
was fixed on the surface of things, who has told his story too in 
such a way as to fix our attention on the mere physical accompani- 
ments of the scene, the shining of Jesus' garments, rather than the 
glory of his countenance, while at the same time, he has himself 
given us the suggestions for a deeper reading of it. According to 
the ordinary view, arising from this emphasis of the physical side 
of it, the transfiguration was a gleam of our Lord's true glory in 
the midst of the surrounding darkness, showing that he was divine 
in spite of Jiis humiliation an d HeatTi.TWj according to our 
Lord's own view, which he came into the world to set up, over 
against its superficial worldliness, his glo ry was essentially in his 
humiliation and death, not in spite of it . A^dJ^ere^Jiis^ spirit was 
glorified by dwelling: in the midst of these high purpos es and r e- 
solves until its glory jroke through the vei l ol flesn. and-iiracUated 
his wholeTTe.iDgT 

Kal fxere/jopcfMoOr) 1 — and was transfigured before them. All the 
particulars given are, in our account, the shining whiteness of his 
garments, and in Mt. and Lk. this with the shining or (Lk.) the 
change of his face. 

3. Kal tcl Ifxaria eycveTO otiX/Jovto., 2 Xcvkol Xtav (omit w? X ta>,/ ) ~"~ * 
and his garments became shining, exceedingly white. 

Omit ws x' LU}V > as snow, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A I, two mss. 
Lat. Vet. one ms. Vulg. 

oTa yvacfyevs iwl rrjs yrjs ov BvvaraL ouroos XevKavai — literally, 
such as a fuller upon the earth cannot so whiten. 

Insert ovrus, so, before XevKavai Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. ** BCLN A 13, 
28, 33, 69, 116, 124, 346, two mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 

4. 'HAetas avv MwuVet — Elijah with Moses. Elijah is gen- 
erally said to be the representative of O.T. prophecy, Moses 
of the Law. But this distinction is more apparent than real. 
Moses was a prophet, and the law that he gave was a part of his 
prophetic utterance ; while Elijah had nothing to do with the 
predictive, certainly with the Messianic side of prophecy, accord- 
ing to the record, but it was his province to reveal to men the 
Divine law and make real to them the Divine lawgiver. But these 
were two men in the O.T. history who made a mysterious exit 

1 This Greek word is the exact equivalent of the Latin-English words transfigure 
and transform. 

2 This word does not occur elsewhere in the N.T. 


from this world, and they are the ones selected for a mysterious 
return in the N.T. 1 The subject of their conversation with Jesus 
is not given in Mt., or Mk., but Lk. tells us that it was " his 
decease which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem " (9 31 ). 

5. aizoKpiOcU — answering. That is, responding not to some- 
thing said, but done. What he said was drawn out not by the 
words of another, but by the occasion. Mowo-ei . . . k. 'HXeta — 
Moses and Elijah. Peter would gather f r oni..,lhe.jc,onyersatio n 
w k?_ JjjiL mer L . y ere - " What lie" proposed to build was three huts, 
^sucn"aT~could T^e constructed out of the material found on the 

mountain. o-Krjvds — is the word for any temporary structure. 

6. ov yap jjSei rL aTroKpiOrj — for he did not know what to 
answer. This implies the strangeness of his proposition. If he 
had known what to say, he would not have said any so foolish 
thing. The situation was not one to be prolonged. Heavenly 
visitors do not come to stay. Zk<po(3ol yap iyevovro — for they 
became completely frightened? 

This reading, instead of 9j<rav yap e/:0o/3oi {became, instead of were), 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCL A 33, most mss. Lat. Vet. airoicpidri, answer, 
instead of \a\-f}<rr,, say, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BC* L A 1, 28, 33, one 
ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

Kal iyivero <pwvrj ck tov ovpavov, Ovtos icrnv 6 wos p.ov 6 aya7rr)TO<s 
II — And a voice came out of the cloud, This is my beloved Son. 
These same words were uttered by the heavenly voice at the bap- 
tism, and they are repeated in 2 Pet. i 17 , in referring to the trans- 
figuration. See Mt. 3 17 17 5 Mk. i 11 Lk. 3 s2 9 s5 . For the meaning 
of Son, see note on i u . 

iyivero, instead of ?j\de, Tisch. Treg. marg.WH. RV, x BCL A Memph. 
Pesh. Hard. marg. Omit \4yov<xa, saying Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCN 
X Til one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

8. iidiTLva — suddenly. 3 The vision vanished suddenly, and 
things returned to their natural condition. There is a difference 
of opinion whether the adverb belongs with the participle or the 
verb. It can make little difference, since both denote parts of 
the same act, looking and seeing. But this very fact shows that 
the adv. belongs with the part., since to put it with the verb 
separates the two closely related parts of the same act. In 
accordance with this principle, we should say, suddenly they 
looked around and saw, not, they looked around and suddenly 
saw. And for the same reason, the Greek joins the adverb and 

1 See Deut. 346 2 K. a* 1 . 

2 The prep, in h<.fyo$oi denotes completeness. (English, out and out.) Thay.- 
Grm. Lex. under Ik. 

3 igdiriva. is a rare, late word for e^ai'^i'Tjs. 


the part, i£&mva denotes the quick transition from the heavenly 
vision to ordinary conditions. 

d fit) before rbv 'I-qaovv, instead of dXXd, WH. RV. n BDN 33, 61, Latt. 
Memph. dXXd is adversative, not meaning except, and irregular here, so 
that internal probability favors that reading. 


9-13. Conversation with the disciples on the way down 
the mountain. They question him about the coming of 

On the way down the mountain, Jesus charges the disciples not 
to tell any one what they had seen, until the Son of Man is risen 
from the dead. This strange saying about the resurrection of the 
Messiah they seized upon, and debated its meaning. Then this 
appearance of Elijah suggests the question, why the Scribes put 
that appearance before the Messianic advent, and this question 
they put to Jesus. He answers that it is true, Elijah does come 
first, and that this is a fulfilment of prophecy which points to the 
fulfilment of the other prediction in regard to the suffering and 
rejection of the Son of Man. And to clinch the matter, he says 
that John's fate is only carrying out another writing. 

9. Kal KaTaj3aiv6vTojv £k tov opovs — And as they were coming 
down out of the mountain} 

Kai KaTafiaivbvTuv, instead of Kara^aivSpTuv 5Z, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BCDLN A S3, Latt. Memph. Pesh. ix, instead of dTrd, Treg. tnarg. WH. 

Xva fxrjSevl, etc. — that they tell no one. This command is given 
for the same reason as the injunction of secrecy in regard to his 
miracles. These external things are misleading to one who has 
not attained something like the inner point of view of Jesus. It 
coincided also with the charge to keep silence about his Messiah- 
ship. The misconception of the Messianic idea among the people 
led them to misunderstand everything that might point to his 
Messiahship. The people were excited with false hopes, which 
this marvellous story would only intensify. After the resurrection, 
when his death had put an end to false expectations, and the res- 
urrection had pointed to his true glory, then, in that new time, 
stories of his earthly glory and power would help forward the truth. 

1 We say out of the mountain in Eng., thinking of it as something to be 


« firj orav — except whenever. 6rav, ?i>Jienever, is intended to 
leave the time of the resurrection indefinite and contingent. 

10. tov Xoyov €Kpa.Tr)(rav — not to be connected with 7rpos cclvtovs, 
— they kept the saying to themselves, which does not give iKpdrrjo-av 
a proper meaning, and does not accord with the fact that Jesus 
restricted his announcement of the resurrection only to the twelve, 
not to the three ; nor is to be translated, they kept the saying, in 
the sense of obedience ; but the meaning is, they seized this word 
about the resurrection, it clung to them, they did not let go of it. 1 
7rp6? eavrovs crvv^rjTOvvTes tl £o~tl to ck vtKpiov avao"rrjvai, — question- 
ing amo?ig themselves what the rising from the dead is. Not what 
the resurrection means in general, which they as orthodox Jews at 
this time would know well enough ; but what it meant in the case 
of Jesus, involving, as it did, his death. 

11. "Otl Xiyovcnv oi ypap.pi.aTus — why do the Scribes say . . . ? 
The difficulty with this rendering is, that the direct question, 
rendered necessary by the introduction of AeyovTcs, is introduced 
by the indirect interrogative on. An alternative rendering is, the 
Scribes say, the demonstrative on being used to introduce a direct 
quotation. The difficulty with this is, that it is a statement, instead 
of the question required by i7rrjpu>To)v. But the question is easily 
implied. However, the rendering of it as a question is on the 
whole more probable. 3 It is suggested by this appearance of 
Elijah on the mountain, which leads them to ask how it is, that 
Elijah's appearance is treated by the scribes as a sign of the 
advent of the Messiah, while this appearance follows the advent, 
and Jesus commands them to keep his appearing silent. Trp&rov 
— first, that is, before the manifestation of the Messiah. 

12. e O Sc e<f>r) — And he said. 

c<pT), instead of aTOKpidds, eiirev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A Memph. 

'HAccas fxkv — The particle here is concessive ; I grant you Elijah 
does come ; and dXAa introduces the modifying statement about 
the manner of his coming, which was not in keeping with their 
expectation. He comes, to be sure, but not as a mere appearance 
that keeps him out of the hands of men and the grasp of fate, but 
in such a way that men do as they please with him. dTroKadio-rdvu 
ndvra — restores all things. 

airoKadHTTdvei, instead of diroKadurrq., Tisch. Treg. N C AB 3 L A I, 28, 33, 
118. diroKariffTdvet, WH. B*. diroKardaravei, N* D. 

This is Jesus' brief rendering of the prophecy (Mai. 3 s6 ), that 
Elijah will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and of the 

1 See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

2 See Win. 18 a, 3, for the use of the art. with the inf. ; also Burton, 392, 393. 
* See Burton, 349 ; Win. 24, 4. 


children to the fathers. His coming, too, is put in connection with 
an injunction to remember the law of Moses, meaning that it 
signifies an enforcement of the Divine law. Such a restoration, 
bringing things back to their standard in the law, was accom- 
plished in the work of John the Baptist, to whom evidently Jesus 
refers. Mt. 1 7 13 says that the disciples understood him to refer to 
the Baptist, k. 7rco5 yiypairTaL irrl t. vlov t. avOpuiirov ; — the ques- 
tion probably ends here — and how has it been written about the 
Son of Man ? The answer is given in iW -noXka. irdBrj k. i£ov8zvu6rj, 

— that he suffer many things and be set at naught} Jesus matches 
their prophecy quoted by the scribes with another in regard to the 
Son of Man, meaning to imply that the fulfilment of the one makes 
probable the fulfilment of the other. The prophecy that the 
Messiah should softer (in the prophecy itself it is the Servant 
of Jehovah) is found in Is. 53. e£ov8(0)evu>(r))0ri 2 — be set at 

13. dXAa A.eya) ifxlv on k. 'HAaas ikrjXvOev — but I say imto you, 
that also Elijah has come. koX before 'HActas means also, he too, 
as well as the Messiah. This contains the minor premise of the 
argument, which runs as follows : The fulfilment of the prophecy in 
regard to Elijah makes probable the fulfilment of that in regard to 
the Son of Man ; the former prophecy has been fulfilled, therefore 
look for the fulfilment of the other, k. k-jroi-qvav avTw, etc., — and 
they did to him whatever they pleased, as it has been written in 
regard to him. Here is another fulfilment in regard to the same 
man, which increases the probability just named. Moreover, this 
prophecy in regard to his fate puts his case on precisely parallel 
lines to that of the Messiah. He too, like the Messiah, is the sub- 
ject of expectation on the one hand, and of prophecy on the other, 
which are entirely inconsistent. In his case it is the adverse 
event of prophecy that has been accomplished, which strengthens 
the conviction that the like will happen to the Messiah. 00-a rjOeXov 

— whatever they wished. This might seem an inconclusive state- 
ment, without the addition of what it was that men wished. But 
in reality, this is a striking statement of the way in which the 
Divine plan differs from the human, which made the fate of John 
and of Jesus certain. Men expected it as a part of the Messianic 
programme that God would interpose in behalf of his servants, so 
that men could not do to them what they pleased. But in God's 
spiritual kingdom, force is not opposed to force, and so men did 
to John what they pleased. The inference is, they will do to the 
Son of Man likewise. Only now, with the introduction of this 

tideXov, instead of ^diX-naav, Tisch. Treg. WH. nBC* DL. 

1 The answer in full would be, // has been written that he suffer, as if it said, it 
has been decreed, that he suffer. It is this idea of decree that explains the use of 
i»<a. Burton, 212 (a), 223. 2 A Biblical word. 

1 66 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IX. 13, 14 

oo-a rjOeXov, it becomes no longer a mere fulfilment of prophecy, but 
an application of the immutable Divine principle to parallel cases. 
Ka0a)s yiypa-n-Tai — as it has been written. This might refer to the 
general statements in regard to the maltreatment of the prophets. 
But it is personal, something written about him, and this makes it 
more probable that the reference is to Elijah, who suffered for 
righteousness' sake in the same way. It is this concrete case of 
such maltreatment that becomes a prophecy of the fate of the 
man who has succeeded to his spirit, and so to his fate. See 
i K. i8 17 sqq. 19 1 sqq. This becomes thus a good example of the 
broad way in which Jesus treats prophecy. 


14-29. Healing of a demoniac, on the return from the 
mountain, whom the disciples left behind had failed to heal, 
owing to their lack of faith. 

On his return from the mountain, Jesus finds a multitude 
gathered, and a dispute going on between his disciples and some 
Scribes about a failure of the disciples to heal a demoniac boy, 
whom his father had brought to them. Jesus cries out against 
the unbelief which had caused this failure, and orders the boy to 
be brought to him. After some inquiries about the case, prompted 
apparently only by his interest in it, Jesus assures him that all 
things are possible to faith, which draws from the father the 
pathetic plea that he believes, but begs for help even in case of 
his unbelief. Whereupon Jesus orders the unclean spirit to leave 
his victim, which he does with a final convulsion, which seemed 
like death. But Jesus took him by the hand, and raised him up. 

14. Kttt iXOovrcs . . . etSov (-Sav) — and having come, they saw. 

£\96pt€s . . . eUov (WH. -Sav), instead of iXdibv . . . eUeu, having come, 
he saw, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A one ms. Lat. Vet. 

/cat ypafx/xarels (Tvv^rjrovvTas 7rpos avrovs — and Scribes disputing 
against them. The prep, denotes the hostility of the Scribes 
better than the dat. 

7rp6s airois, instead of avrois, with them, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N* etc -, 
BCGIL A 1, 28, 118, 124, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

This incident of the Scribes is introduced by Mk. alone, who, 
as usual, brings the scene before us, and not the bare event. 

IX. 14-18] A DEMONIAC HEALED 1 67 

The cause of the dispute was the failure of the disciples to cure 
the demoniac, which gave the Scribes a chance to throw doubt on 
their healing power. 

15. 7ras 6 o^Aos iSovres olvtov, iZeOafxfirjOrjo-av — all the crowd, 
having seen them, were utterly astonished} 

ISdvres e&daixpr)di)<rav, instead of Iduv, *£e0a/*/3i}0ij Tisch. Treg. WH. 
n BCDIL A 1, 13, 27, 28, 33, 69, 124, 209, 346, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 
Pesh. Hard. marg. 

Different reasons are given for this astonishment. Either Jesus' 
person still retained some of the glory of the transfiguration, or 
the people were astonished at his sudden and opportune appear- 
ance. Against the former it seems conclusive that he treats the 
transfiguration as an esoteric event, which would not have per- 
mitted him to make his appearance among the people until the 
effect had entirely passed away. Their surprise was a joyous sur- 
prise at this unexpected coming, so that they ran and greeted 

16. iTrrjpdiTrja-ev avrovs — he asked them. The pronoun evi- 
dently refers to the multitude just mentioned. 

auroi/s, instead of toi)s ypan/iaTeis, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDL A 1, 
28, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

Tt (Tvv^rjTCLTe 7rpo? olvtovs ; — What are you disputing with them ? 
avrovs here refers to the disciples. 

17. Kat aTrzKpidr) avrw eU — And one . . . answered him. eh 
— one made answer, though the question was addressed to the 
crowd, cts is not like the indefinite Tt?, but calls attention to the 

airenpLdrj airy, instead of a-rroKpidels . . . eiire, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BDL A 28, 33, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

Trvevpa aXaXov — a dumb spirit. For other instances of this 
accompaniment of the disease, see Mt. 9 s2 12 22 . 

18. o7rov lav — wherever. 

khv? instead of Slv, Tisch. Treg. WH. n<> ABK An. 

prja-a-ei — convulses. This meaning of the word is not very well 
established, but in cnrapaaa-oi, the meaning tear passes over into 
that of convulse, and it is so used in v. 20 . This establishes a pre- 
cedent for the like transformation in this word. The congenital 
relation of these two verbs makes it improbable that they would 
be employed in a different sense about the same matter, and is so 
far against the Revisers' Translation, dasheth him down. irjpaCve- 
rax — is wasting away. The symptoms mentioned are those of 

1 See on eK0o,9ot, v. 6 . 2 On this use of iav, instead of iv, see on 8 38 . 

1 68 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IX. 18-20 

epilepsy. The prjcro-ei, k. d<£pt£a k. Tpi&i are connected with 
o/rov eav KaraXafirj', but fypauverai is a general symptom of the 
disease. The Eng. Ver. connects a(f>pi£a, k. rpi£ei, k. $rjpatveTaL, 
and puts prja-aeu by itself. It should read, whenever it seizes him, 
it convulses hint, and he foams and gfiashes his teeth ; and he is 
wasting away, rots /acetous — As the man did not find Jesus, he 
brought him to the disciples. See v. 17 . 

Omit oi5toO after 686vras, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* DL A I, 13, 33, 
59, 69, 73, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

Kal etrra Tot? pLaOrjTcus <rov Iva avro iKfiaXwcri — and I Spoke to thy 
disciples that they should cast it out} 

eiira, instead of elirov, Tisch. Treg. WH. x BFL I, 28, 209. 

19. 'O 8« a.7roKpt0eU avrots, Acyei — And he answering them y 

avToh, instead of avrq, /rim, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. K ABDL AIT* 1, 
28, 33, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr. 

avTots — to them. Jesus' reply is not addressed to the man, 
who seems not to have shown any lack of faith, but to the 
disciples, who have just been mentioned by the father, and to 
whom the words specially apply, since it was their unbelief that 
led to the fiasco. Later, the man seems to have lost heart over 
the failure of the disciples, so that he puts an if you can into his 
appeal to Jesus (v. 22 ) . 

*Q ycvea ajrMTTOS, eoi<s 7tot€ 7rpo? v/u.a? ccro/xat ; €<os ttotc dve^o/xat 
vpLwv ; — O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you ? 
how long shall I suffer you ? 

ycvea — It is possible to translate this race, meaning men of a 
certain stock or family ; but it is more in accordance with almost 
invariable N.T. usage to translate it gene?-ation, men of that time. 
aTTto-To? — the translation faithless, EV., means generally unfaith- 
ful, perfidious, and is therefore ambiguous. It should be trans- 
lated unbelieving. Iws Trore — literally, until when. 2 7rp6s vp,a<> 
€o-o/xat ; — shall I be with you ? The question, as appears from 
the next question, arises from the almost intolerable nature of his 
intercourse with a generation so spiritually dull and unsympa- 
thetic. It is the question of one who feels that his surroundings 
have become almost unbearable, and who wonders how long they 
are going to last, dvc^o/xat vpShv ; 3 — shall I bear with you ? 

20. IBoiv — having seen. Regularly, the part, agrees with neither 
to 7rv€vp.a, nor avrov after o-vvecnrdpa^tv. According to the sense, 

1 On the use of 'iva after a verb of entreaty, see Burton, 200. 

2 This use of e'w? with a temporal adverb is rare in classical Greek. Win 54, 6. 

3 The ace. is the regular construction after avexo^ai. 

IX. 20-24] A DEMONIAC HEALED 1 69 

since the action of the verb belongs to the spirit, and is occa- 
sioned by the action denoted by the participle, it would be the 
spirit which is described as having seen Jesus. But he does this 
with the eyes of the man, and hence the masc. form of the part. 
In all these stories, the man and the evil spirit get mixed up in 
this way. The outward acts belong to the man, but the informing 
spirit is sometimes that of the man, and sometimes the evil spirit. 
<Tvve(nrdpa$ev — convulsed him} 

a-vveairdpa^ev, instead of i<nrdpa%ev t Tisch. Treg. marg. x BCL A 33, 
mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Syrr. 

ckvXUto — he rolled around. Wallow suggests things not im- 
plied in this verb. 

21. (I)? tovto yeyovev avrw — since this has come to him. This 
conversation with the father has been preserved by Mk. alone, 
with his customary fulness in the narration of events. All attempts 
to discover special motives for this question of Jesus, aside from 
the general interest of a sympathetic person in the case, are un- 
availing. It has no special bearing on the cure to be performed. 
'Ek 7raiSio0ei/ — from childhood? 1 

Insert 4k before ircuddOev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDGILN A 1, 33, 
118, 209. 

22. Kai ek irvp . . . k. eU vSara — both into fire and into waters. 
The plur. = bodies of water, el n Svvrj — if you are at all able. 
There is no inf. implied here, the pronoun being construed with 
the verb immediately according to the Greek idiom. 3 

23. To el Svj/77 4 — (omit TrivTevaai) . If thou canst. Jesus re- 
peats the father's words in order to call attention to them, and to 
the doubt expressed in them, which would stand in the way of his 
petition. The art. adds to the emphasis with which he points to 
these words, as we say, That u if you can." travra. Bwara to> 
iruTTevovTL — Over against the father's doubt, the Lord puts the 
omnipotence of faith, which places at man's disposition the Divine 

Omit TrurreOcrat, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L A i, 1 18, 209, 244, 
one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

24. Evflvs Kpa&xs 6 Trarrjp tov 7raioYov eXeye, Tna-revo), fiorjOei /xov rfj 
aincTTia — Immediately the father of the boy cried out and said, I 
believe ; help my unbelief. This does not mean " help me to turn 
my unbelief into belief," but "help me out of my trouble, in spite 

1 See on v. 18 . The compound verb is found elsewhere only in Maximus Tyrius, 
a writer of the second century B.C. 

2 On the pleonasm, see Win. 65, 2. na<.8t69ev is a late word. The Greeks said 

€K iraiSos. 

8 See Win. 64, 4. Svvji is a rare poetical and later form for Svvaoau. 
4 On the use of the art. with ei 8vvy, see Win. 18 a, 3. 


of any unbelief that you may find in me." He claims at first, 
that he does believe, notwithstanding any appearance to the con- 
trary in his language. And yet, he does not rest his case there, 
but pleads with Jesus to show him mercy in any case. He pleads 
the compassion of Jesus, instead of his own faith, and so uncon- 
sciously showed a genuine faith. 

Omit teal Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. n c BL A one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 
Omit (xera SaxpiW, with tears, x A* BC* L A 28, one ms. Lat. Vet. 
Memph. Omit Kfyie, lord, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABC* DL 346 mss. 
Lat. Vet. one ms. Vulg. Syrr. 

25. on cTrco-wTpc'x" (6) oxA.os — that a (the) crowd is running 
together besides {those already gathered). The evidence for the 
insertion or omission of the art. is evenly divided. The anarthrous 
noun is more consistent with the meaning of lino-vvTpi\u. Ztti — 
adds to o-uvrpc'xei, is running together, the meaning besides, i.e. in 
addition to those already collected. 1 The part. iSwv is causal; 
it was because Jesus saw this, that he rebuked the demon. 
He did not wish to attract a larger crowd by prolonging the 
scene, and so, without any further delay, he proceeded with the 
cure. It is his usual avoidance of any notoriety in his mira- 
cles, to a\a\ov kolI Kaxpov -n-vev/xa — thou dumb and deaf spirit. 
The story has grown by so much, since the first mention of the 
spirit. Then it was dumb, which was more than the other Gos- 
pels tell us, now it has become deaf and dumb. 

rb &\a\ov Kal Kucpbv irvedfxa, instead of rb irvev/xa rb &\a\ov Kal Kuxpbp, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. n BC* DL A 1, 33, 73, 118, Latt. Memph. 

26. Kat Kpo&xs Kal ttoXXo. o-rrapd£a<;, i£i}\Oe — And having cried 
out and convulsed (him) violently, he came out. 

Kp&£as Kal . <rirapa£as, instead of the neuter, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BC* DL(A). Omit air6v, him, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n corr - BC* DL 
A mss. Lat. Vet. 

/cpa£as k. <nrapa£as — The masc. gender shows that the writer 
thought of the spirit as a person. 

cyevcTo dxm vtKpos — he became as if dead. It is impossible to 
account for this final convulsion. If Jesus, e.g., were restoring a 
drowned person, would the horrible feelings attending a natural 
restoration be avoided ? And whether any such violent wrench 
of mind and body would attend a sudden cure of insanity, we do 
not know. 

axxre tovs 7toAA.ovs Xiyav 2 — so that the most said. 

Insert rotfs before iroXKoi/s Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABL A 33. 

1 This compound occurs only here in the N.T. and nowhere in profane authors. 

2 On the preference of N.T. Grk. for the inf. to express result after mare, see 
Burton, 235, 369-371. 


27. Kparrj(Ta<i rrjs x* L P 0<i avrov — having taken his hand. 

rrjs x ei f>bs avrov, instead of avrbv rijs x €i P°' s > him by the hand, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. k BDL A I, 13, 28, 53, 69, 118, 209, Latt. Memph. 

28. kcu eio-eA06Vros avrov 1 — And he having entered. 

elaekdbvTos avrov, instead of the ace., Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 
1, 13, 28, 69, 118, 209, 346 (Latt). 

otl ff/ACLs ovk rj^vvrjOr)fiev — Why could not we ? On the use of 
on, see on v. 11 . There seems to be no reason whatever here for 
supposing that this is a statement, instead of a question. There 
is a kind of challenge in the statement, that is evidently not in 
their minds. They mean simply to ask the question, why they 
could not perform this miracle, when Jesus had given them power 
over unclean spirits. 

29. tovto to yevo? — this kind of thing, i.e. the genus evil spirit ; 
not this kind of spirit, as if this was a specially vicious kind of 
spirit, that it took a good deal to exorcise. lv Trpocrevxfj — in 
prayer, kcu v-qemia, and fasting, is an evident gloss. It is one 
of the things that a later asceticism imported into the spiritual 
teaching of JUsus. It seems to be implied in the question of the 
disciples that they had expected to cast out th. demon, so that 
their lack of faith in the matter had not taken the shape of doubt 
of their power. But what was lacking was prayer, which is the 
expression of faith considered as dependence on the Divine 
power and confidence in that. It is the sense of God that con- 
veys all kinds of spiritual power. But this power was not sub- 
jective, it did not reside in themselves, but was power to move 
God, and this precludes the idea that a special degree of this 
power was necessary in the case of so stubborn a demon as this. 
But it is a general statement that miracles of any kind are possible 
only to him who prays. 

Omit Kal vrja-reia, Tisch. (Treg. tnarg.) WH. RV. N* B one ms. Lat. 
Vet. It is one of the things that would stand no chance of omission, if 
found in the original. Evidence shows that it was interpolated in a like 
passage (1 Cor. 7 5 ). 


30-32. Jesus returns through Galilee, and again seeks to 
hide his presence, in order to convey to his disciples the eso- 
teric teaching about his death. The same particulars are 

1 On this use of the gen. abs., instead of the participle agreeing with its noun or 
pronoun found elsewhere in the sentence, see Win. 30, n, Note. 

1^2 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IX. 30-32 

given as in the previous announcement ', that he will be 
delivered tip, and put to death, and will rise again after 
three days. But they did not know what he was saying, 
and were afraid to question him. 

30. KatcelOev i£c\06vTts (-rrap) i-rropevovro — and having gone out 
from that place, they were coming. The place which they left 
was the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi. Their journey through 
Galilee to Capernaum would take them on the west side of the 

iiropeibovTO, instead of Trapeiropeiovro, Treg. WH. B* D^- mss. Lat. Vet. 

Kal ovk rjdeXev Iva. ns yvol — and did not wish that any one 
should know it} Jesus' desire to escape notice is a continuation 
of the policy pursued by him since his departure to Tyre and 
Sidon (7 s4 ). Since that time, he has been mostly in strange places, 
accompanied by his disciples alone, and preparing them for the 
approaching crisis in his life. 

yvoi, instead of yvcp, Tisch. Treg. WH. x BCDL. 

31. eStSao-Kei/ yap etc. — for he was teaching his disciples. This 
esoteric teaching was the reason of his desire to escape observation. 
Prediction of things to be done by men is apt to prejudice the 
event. It was necessary that the disciples should be prepared for 
so startling an issue, but the world is left wisely to the tutelage of 
unforeseen events. 7rapa8i'8oTai — is delivered over. The present 
is used to denote the certainty of the future event. 2 //.era Tpeis 
f/fxepas — after three days. The resurrection was really on the 
third day. But the usage of speech allowed this to be spoken of 
in either way. 

32. ^yvoow to prjfia — they did not understand the word. This 
passage and the parallel (Lk. q 45 ) are the only ones in which this 
verb is used with the meaning understand, and the peculiar use in 
passages relating to the same event is strongly corroborative of the 
interdependence of the accounts. £<f>o(3ovvTo avrov i-rrepoyTrja-ai — 
they feared to question him. They were afraid that further ques- 
tions would not alleviate, but only aggravate, the situation, and 
they feared to know the worst. 

1 yvol is an irregular form of the sec. aor. subj. Iva with the subj. after f)6c\fv is 
one of the signs of the degeneracy of the language, in which the distinctive meaning 
of words is gradually weakened, and finally disappears. Burton, 191, 203 ; Win. 

2 See Burton, 15 ; Win. 40, 2. Win. admits the use of the historical present, but 
inconsistently denies the use of the pres. for the fiit., which involves the same prin- 
ciple. Future is still future, though conceived as present. 



33-37. Dispute among the disciples over the question of 
precedence among them. Jesus defines true greatness for 

The journey from Caesarea Philippi brings them to Capernaum, 
where Jesus begins to question them about a dispute which they 
had had on the road, and which they evidently desire to con- 
ceal from him. We learn elsewhere that James and John actu- 
ally asked him for first and second place among his followers, 
when the time should come to distribute these honors (io 35 ). 
And probably, this was an outcropping of the same spirit. The 
first three places were conceded to these two and to Peter. But 
which was to be primus ? Jesus answers this question by putting 
before them the paradox of the kingdom, that last is first, and 
service is greatness. Then he takes a child, and teaches them that 
the spirit of the child is the mark of the king, to receive one such 
is to receive him, and to receive him is to receive God. 

33. Kal rjXOov ek Ka<f>apvaov(x — And they came to Capernaum. 

f)\6ov, instead of fjXOev, he came,Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n B(D) I, 118, 
209, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Pesh. 

ycvojuevo? — being (AV.), and when he was (RV.), do not trans- 
late this verb, which denotes becoming not being. Having come 
to be, or having come, translates it. Tt iv rrj 68<p o\eAoyi£eo-0€ — 
The verb is impf. and means were disputing. 

Omit irpbs iavroiis, among yourselves, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL 
mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

34. eo-id)7ran> — were silent. But kept silent is better, which is 
another meaning of the impf. The merging of all these different 
shades of meaning into the simple past tense is one of the imper- 
fections of the AV. This silence was due to their shame. They 
knew Jesus' opinion of such disputes. hieXi^O-qcrav — they had 
disputed} tCs ^i^wv — who is greatest? That is, which of them ? 
Winer contends, that the compar. is used here with perfect regu- 
larity, since the object with which the comparison is made is really 
only one. 2 But this would make it possible to substitute the com- 
par. for the superl. in all cases, since the greatest is always greater 

l On the plup. element in the aor., see Burton, 48, 52. 2 35, 4. 

174 THE GOSPEL OF MARll [IX. 34-37 

than all the rest, the comparison being made always not with 
individuals, but with all taken together. But this confusion is one 
of the signs of degeneracy in a decadent language. 

35. iravruiv co^aTos kcu it. oYa/covos — he shall be least of all, and 
servant of all. This is the way to be great among the disciples of 
Jesus. It does not point out the penalty of ambition, as we might 
gather from the certain disapproval of the ordinary ambition by 
Jesus, but the way of satisfying Christian ambition. But the 
method is a paradox, like the beatification of sorrow. The 
Christian way to be first is to be last, to fall to the rear, to efface 
yourself. But it is not only humility that is demanded, but service. 
This again is a paradox, since primacy means dominion, the fac- 
ulty not of serving, but of levying service on others. But these 
things, humility and service, in the kingdom of God, not only lead 
to greatness, they are greatness, i.e. they are the supreme marks 
of the Christian quality. And it is one of the signs that the world 
is becoming a seat of the kingdom of God, that rulers, leaders, 
employers, and others, are beginning to recognize this idea of 
service as the meaning of their position. 

36. ci/ayKaAio-a/x-evos — a Biblical word, corresponding exactly 
to our embrace, en bras, for which the Greeks said iv dyKaXat? 

37. eV ru)v iraiSiW tolovtwv — one of such little children. The 
child meant by our Lord is not a child in years, but in spirit, a 
person possessed of the childlike quality. The child is the best 
example of the type just held up before the disciples by our Lord, 
and he is himself the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. When 
he says then, that to receive such a childlike person is the same 
as to receive him, he is affirming again, in his striking way, that 
humility and service are the marks of greatness in his kingdom ; 
they are, that is, the things that identify a man with him. 1 

os Kv, instead of os eav, Tisch. Treg. WH. s* ABCDL A I, 13, 28, 69. 
In the second clause the same, Tisch. Treg. WH. BDL A. 

e7ri toS ovo/xart fxov — upon my name, i.e. on the strength of my 
name. The prep, denotes the basis, the ground of the reception. 
This use of the word oVo/ta to denote the various things about a 
person recalled by his name, especially in the phrase iv or iwl toj 
ovofian, is not Greek, but Hebrew. The phrase indicates that a 
person is so connected with another, that he receives whatever 
consideration belongs to that other. The connection of thought, 
however, shows that, just as the personal consideration is excluded 
by this phrase, showing that the man is not received for himself, 
but because of Jesus ; so it cannot be a mere outward connection 
with our Lord, but because the man's childlikeness makes him 

1 Cf. Mt. 1 82-5. 


like Jesus, so that men are reminded of Jesus when they see him. 
ovk ifxe Several, dAAa tov aTroaruXavTa /xe — receives not me but him 
who sent ?ne. Christ did not represent himself in the world, but 
the Father, a fact developed at great length in the fourth Gospel. 
This representative character belongs to him as the one sent by 
the Father into the world. But in this case also, the connection 
is not outward, but inward. To be sent by God is to be inspired 
by him, to be filled with His Spirit, and so the spirit of humility 
and service, in the disciple, and in Jesus himself, is here carried a 
step farther back, and is shown to be that of the Father. In such 
a child, Jesus says, you see me, yes, and God himself. 


38-50. The disciples tell Jesus of their interference with 
one casting out demons in his name, but not following them. 
Jesus reply. 

The belief of the disciples in the near approach of the kingdom 
seems to have wrought in them other effects than ambition. So 
far, the power to work miracles had been confined to themselves. 
And it seemed to them a mark of superiority to which they had 
the exclusive right. So we find John, apparently in the course of 
this same conversation, telling Jesus of the case of an outsider 
who had used his name in casting out demons, and had been for- 
bidden by them any further exercise of a power appropriated to 
them. Jesus' answer is substantially that they are right, that the 
work of a disciple does belong to a disciple ; but that they have 
turned this the wrong way. It does not lead to officialism, but 
just the opposite. It follows, not that any one who is outside 
their circle should be forbidden their work, but that the doing of 
the work shows that he is like them inwardly, though not out- 
wardly. Their complaint is, that he is doing their work. Very 
well, Jesus says, that shows that he is on your side. It is not 
necessary to do a miracle to show this ; a cup of water given to 
them because they are disciples shows the same thing. But if 
any one causes the fall of one of the humblest of these disciples, 
it would be better for him to be cast into the sea, with a millstone 
round his neck. And since to fall away is so grievous an evil, 
they would better cut off hand, or foot, or eye, than have any 
member cause their fall, since this means Gehenna and its fires to 

\j6 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IX. 38, 39 

them. Fire is to salt them all, either the fire of affliction here, or 
the fire of Gehenna there. Fire is salt, and salt is good ; but if 
any salt loses its flavor, how is salt to be salted? Hence they 
must have salt in themselves to render these outward purifiers 
effective, and especially must be at peace among themselves, an 
injunction which their jealousies and rivalries rendered necessary. 

38. V E$77 avTOi 6 'Iwoivvt;?, AiSao-KaAe, ctSo/xe'v Tiva iv to ovo/xart 
<rov €K(3dX\ovTa Sai/xovia, kcu €Ku>Xevo[xev avrov, otl ovk tjkoXovOu -q/juv 
— John said to him, Teacher, we saw one casting out demons 
in thy natne, and we forbade him, because he was not following us. 

"E077, instead of dveKptdr] 8t . . . Xiyuv. And . . . answered, saying, Tisch. 
Treg. (who, however, retains X^wk) WH. RV. n B A Memph. Pesh. In- 
sert iv before r. o^ari Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDLN A I, 69, etc. 
Omit os ovk &Ko\ov6et v/xiu, who does not follow us, WH. RV. N BCL A 10, 
115, 346, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. itcuXvofxev, instead of -\v<ra- 
fxev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BD e r - L A 1, 209. r/KoXovdei, instead of 
dKoXovdei, after 6n ovk, Tisch. WH. RV. xBA. 

AiSao-KaAe — Teacher, not Master. The word in the vernacu- 
lar used by him would be Rabbi, iv t<J 6v6fw.TL <rov — in thy name. 
See on v. 37 . In this case, it means, by the authority of Jesus, 
on ovk rjKoXovOet — because he was not following. The impf. takes 
us back to the time of the transaction, when the disciples saw him 
casting out demons. They were right in assuming this to be an 
abnormal case, because the proper place for the disciple assuming 
such powers was with Jesus. The Master kept such in his imme- 
diate company for instruction, and even his immediate disciples 
he sent out on such errands only very rarely. But all such restric- 
tions are themselves limited by the method of the Spirit's working, 
which is like the wind, blowing where it will. The disciples had 
a right to expect that one who had come under the influence of 
Jesus would, like them, desire to be with him. But they did not 
take into account the fact that one might, under the influence of 
such a life, be awakened himself to the want and wretchedness of 
the world, and wish to put the mysterious power that he felt 
within him to the test, and that this might overpower even the 
desire for the companionship of the Lord. 

39. KOLKoXoyrjcrai — to speak evil} Jesus puts the matter imme- 
diately upon its proper footing, showing the disciples that, reason- 
ing from the facts within their possession, they ought to have 
drawn a favorable conclusion. To be sure, it was so far against 
the man, that he did not company with them ; but that was not 
conclusive. Whereas it was conclusive, that he was able to per- 
form the miracle. The test whether one is fit to perform an act 

1 KaKo\oy9i*ai comes within the classical period, but kcxkws fcgynp is more usual. 


is the performance of the act. A man's fitness to write poetry, to 
preach, to paint, to perform miracles, is proved by his perform- 
ance in each case. Can he do the thing? But here there was a 
further question involved, whether the man really belonged to the 
disciples of Jesus, and so had a right to use the name that he had 
used in casting out the demons. The fact, that he did not follow 
the disciples, seemed to be against his own right as a disciple, but 
this was entirely overborne by the effect that followed his use of 
the name. He could not cast out demons, actually cast them out, 
in the name of Jesus, and then turn around and revile it. Or, as 
Jesus says, he could not do it ra^i>, quickly. The two things are 
incongruous, so that they could not follow each other rapidly. 

40. os ovk lariv K<xQ" rjfxu)v v-n-ep rjfxiov — he who is not against us 
is for us. This is not the opposite of "he that is not against us 
is for us," but its complement (Mt. 12 30 ). There Jesus is talking 
about this same matter of casting out demons, which he had been 
accused of doing in the name of Beelzebub. But he answers that 
the act is one of hostility to Satan, and cannot therefore proceed 
from Satan himself. One cannot be for and against at the same 
time. Then he applies the same principle to himself, saying that 
he who is not for him is against him. Here, he shows that this 
same act of casting out demons is friendly to himself, as it is 
hostile to Satan, and that he who shows himself thus friendly, can- 
not be at the same time hostile. The use which is often made of 
Mt. 12 30 , to show that there is no such thing as indifference to 
Jesus, but that seeming indifference is real hostility, is unwarrant- I 
able. The real meaning of both passages is, that friendliness and j 
hostility are incongruous, and cannot therefore exist together. 

tjia&v, us, instead of v/xu)v,you, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCD I, 13, 69, 
209, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Hard. marg. 

41. os yap av TroTtcry vuas TroTr\ptov uSaros £v ovo/xari on Xpiorov 
core — For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink on the 
ground that you belong to Christ. bvopxm is used here like the 
Latin nomen to denote cause or season. RV. because ye are 
Christ's. This confirms the preceding by showing that even a 
small service done in his name will be taken as showing friendli- 
ness to him, and so will not lose its reward. It gets its character 
from its motive of attachment to him. 

Omit ry before ovofxan Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x ABCLNX TIL Omit 
/xov, my, after dvd/xan Treg. WH. RV. n<= ABC* KLN II* 1, 229, 238, 
435, Pesh. Hard. text. Insert /xov Tisch. n* C 3 DX TAII 2 Latt. Memph. 
Hard. marg. The pleonasm favors this reading, as Tisch. says. Insert 
on, that, before ov ^77 d-rroX^y, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* DL A mss. 
Lat. Vet. one ms. Vulg. Syrr. Memph. 

42. Kal os av (TKavBaXicrrj eva tovtcdv twv (MiKpwv tcov ttl(ttcvovto}v, 
KaXov icrTLv avroi [xaWov, cl TrtpiKUTat /xvXos 01/t/cos — And whoever 


178 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IX. 42, 43 

causes the fall of one of these little ones who believe, it is well for 
him rather, if an upper millstone is hung around his neck. 

Insert tovtwv, these, before twv ixixpCov, little ones, Tisch. Treg. (Treg. 
marg.) WH. RV. n ABC* and2 DLM 2 N A I, mss. of Lat. Vet. Memph. 
Hard. Omit eh i^e", in me, after tQv Triarevovriav, who believe, Tisch. WH. 
RV. (Treg. marg.} N A mss. Lat. Vet. also C* D one ms. Lat. Vet., which 
read tt'uttiv exovTuv, have faith, without els ep.L /j.\j\os ovlkos, upper mill- 
stone, instead of Xidos fivXiKbs, a millstone, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL 
A Latt. Pesh. 

This presents the other side, the result of injuring one of his 
disciples. But it is noticeable that the injury is a spiritual one. 
Not that other hurts inflicted on them would not be taken as indi- 
cating hostility to him, but that Jesus, when he thinks of such 
injuries, singles out those inflicted on their spiritual nature as the 
only ones that will really harm them, though others show the dis- 
position to harm them. koXov Ivtiv avrcu fxaXXov — it is well for 
him rather} Regularly, the form of conditional sentence em- 
ployed would correspond to the assumption that the condition is 
contrary to the fact ; i.e. past tenses of the ind. would be employed. 
The English Version indicates this by its translation, it were better, 
were hung, and were cast. The present construction, making it a 
pure condition, leaves out of sight that the clause os av o-KavoaAi'077 
has already assumed o-Kav8aAi£ai/, — causing to fall, as the actual 
case. fxvXo<i oviKoq — an upper millstone. Both words are Biblical, 
and oi/iko's is found only here and in the parallel passage (Mt. 18 6 ). 
This is another case, therefore, in which only the interdependence 
of the written accounts will account for the identity of the lan- 
guage. The grist was ground in a mill between an upper and 
under stone, the under one being stationary, and the upper one 
turned by an ass, whence the name oviko%. 

43. koX lav (TKav8a\i(rr) ac 17 \ crov, ajroKOxl/ov avrrjv ' KaXbv £<ttlv 
are kvXX6v etc. — and if your hand causes you to fall, cut it off; it 
is well for you to enter into life maimed, etc. 

TKavSa\l<rv, instead of -ft, Tisch. WH. RV. n BL A mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 
earlv <re, instead of cot e<rrl, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. K BCL A 13, 28, 6o \ 

(TKavSaXio-rj — This word forms the connection between this and 
the preceding discourse. Jesus has begun by speaking of what it 
is to be identified with him, and incidentally has introduced the 
subject of the injury inflicted on him by causing the fall of one of 
his disciples. And in connection with this has come up the ques- 
tion of comparative values, spiritual and material. This leads him 
to speak of the things in the man himself that would lead to his 
fall, and to continue the subject of comparative values in connec- 

1 The comp. of ko.\6s (p r koXSh) is found only once in the N.T. (Acts 25 10 ). 


tion with that. It is well to cut off hand, or foot, or eye, sooner 
than run the risk through either of them of absolute spiritual 
loss, daekddv eis t. £0)771/ — to enter into life. Life is the word 
used in the Bible to express the reward of righteousness. And 
it is the word which expresses the natural, instead of the imposed 
consequence of conduct. Conduct reacts on the life, the being of 
the man, and right conduct conduces to health and fulness of life. 
eis t. Tkvvav — into Gehenna. This is the Grsecized form of 
D3H ^ the Vale of Hinnom, which h the valley on the SE. side 
of Jerusalem. This valley had been desecrated by the sacrifice 
of children to Moloch, and had been used as an accursed place, 
for the refuse and garbage of the city. Here worms consumed 
the dead matter, and fires were kept burning to destroy the refuse. 
Hence it came to be used as a name for the place of future punish- 
ment, cis to irvp to acrfieo-Tov — into the unquenchable fire. This 
is borrowed from the continual fires of Hinnom spoken of above. 
And the material figure expresses the idea of destruction, as life 
denotes the opposite side of retribution. The contrast with £u)rjv 
would indicate that this is the meaning of the figure here, rather 
than torment. Jesus follows here his usual habit of borrowing 
current language, which lends itself, however, to the expression of 
more radical spiritual ideas than it conveyed to the common 
understanding. This is not a necessary deduction from the lan- 
guage, but its aptness for the expression of the deeper thought, and 
the aptness of Jesus for the deeper thought, combine to create a 
strong probability of its correctness. 

Omit v. 44 , Tisch. WH. RV. N BCL A 1, 28, 118, 251. 
45. KaXov ia-TLV ere — it is well for you. 

iarh ere, instead of etrri <roi, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ABCEFGHKLVX 
AIT. Omit els to irvp rb do-fiearov, into the unquenchable fire, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BCL A 1 28, 118, 251, two mss. Lat. Vet. Pesh. 

Omit v. 46 , same authorities as v. 44 . 

47. KaXov o~i €<ttlv fiov6<p6a\fxov eiaeXOeiv els T-qv j3a<nXeLav tov 
©eov, rj Svo dcpOaXfJLOvs c^ovra fiXrjdrjvai eis ttjv yeevvav, 6Vov, etc. — 
// is well for you to enter one-eyed into the kingdom of God, than 
having two eyes to be cast into Gehenna, where, etc. 

<jk kariv, instead of crot iari, Tisch. Treg. WH. (RV.) n B; eariv <re of 
L A. Omit tov irvpos, of fire, after yhvvav {Gehenna of fire, not hell fire), 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 1, 28, 118, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

Kingdom of God is substituted in this case for life. The con- 
trast with yUvvav shows that it is the future, rather than the 
present form of the kingdom, that is strictly meant. But in the 
mouth of Jesus, such a term as kingdom of God has a permanent 

180 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IX. 47-50 

meaning, which is never lost among the minor changes. To him 
it meant simply the realm in which the will of God is done. It is 
well, 1 he says, to enter that realm at any cost. 

48. orrov 6 <TK(i>\r)£ avroiv ov reXevra, Kal to Trvp ov a/3evvvraL — 
where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched. Both 
worm and fire are here destructive forces, and belong in the 
same category as life and death, denoting natural and not imposed 
penalties. Of course, it is the soul that undergoes punishment, 
and the punishment consists in the forces that prey upon it and 
destroy it. 6 o-KuXrji avrCyv — their worm; the worm, i.e. that 
preys upon the inhabitants of this dread realm. 

ov TeXtvra, Kal . . . ov o~/3evvvTat. — dies not, and . . . is not 
quenched. It is the permanence of the retribution that is ex- 
pressed in these material figures. This is characteristic of natural 
penalties as distinguished from imposed penalties. Whippings 
and imprisonments are subject to limitations of time, but the 
wounds inflicted on the man himself by his sins, the degradation 
and deterioration of his being, have no such limitation. The 
worm that gnaws, and the fire that burns inwardly have no limits. 
They propagate themselves. 

49, 50. 7ras yap rrvpl aXio-Orjaerai. koXov to aAa(s) — For every 
one shall be salted with fire. Salt is good. 

Omit Kal Traaa 6v<ria dXl a\i<r0^<reTcu, and every sacrifice shall be 
salted with salt, Tisch. Treg. marg. (Treg.) WH. RV. k BL A I, 6i, 73, 
118, 205, 206, 209, 229, 251, 258, 435, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. edd. 

This is confessedly one of the most difficult passages to inter- 
pret in the N.T. In the first place, it seems necessary to con- 
nect TTvpl with nvp, v. 48 , and dAio-fl^o-erai in v. 49 with aAas in 
v. 50 . And it is this connection with what precedes and follows 
that makes trouble. For wpl is also connected with aXio-Orjo-e- 
Tat, and a\Lo~6r}o-eTai, from its connection with aAas, gets a good 
meaning, and irvpl, from its connection with Trvp, gets a bad 
meaning. That makes the crux of the situation. Meyer is 
about the only one who faces this, and gives us a key that fits into 
all the wards of the lock. This he does by obtaining his interpre- 
tation of a\io~0rjo-eTaL from Lev. 2 13 , where it is called the salt of 
the covenant. To be salted would mean, therefore, for any one 
to have the covenant fulfilled on himself. 7ras would refer thus 
to those who suffer the doom of Gehenna, and the meaning would 
be that every one of these shall have the covenant fulfilled on him 
by its fires. And on the other hand, every sacrifice, such as those 
make who cut off hand or foot, or eye, to preserve themselves 
from spiritual loss, will have the covenant fulfilled on them by the 

1 On this use of the pos. instead of the comp., well, instead of better, see Win. 
35. 2. c. 


salt of purifying wisdom. The difficulty with this very ingenious, 
and otherwise satisfactory interpretation is, that it involves a re- 
condite allusion to the usages and meanings of ceremonial law, 
which is entirely foreign to our Lord's manner of speech. And 
then, it gives also a double meaning to aAas, one in the verb 
dXio-OrjaeTai, and another in the noun itself. This breaks up the 
connection made by the recurrence of the same keywords, not so 
badly, to be sure, as when different meanings are assigned to irvp 
in v. 48,49 , but still enough to constitute a difficulty. Another very 
serious difficulty is, that it requires the retention of the second 
clause of v. 49 , k. 7ra<ra dwia, etc. This clause is, to say the least, 
extremely doubtful. And yet, it furnishes the only use of aAas 
giving us a transition to the < of v. ,w , as the meaning of 
dXio-Otja-cTaL makes no connection with that. No, we shall have 
to find an interpretation that will enable us to pass right over from 
the first clause of v. 49 to v. 50 , and that at the same time will preserve 
the connection with v. 48 . Salt in that case will have to denote a 
purifying element, to connect 49 and 50 , and fire will have to de- 
note a destroying element, to connect 48 and 49 . That is, we have 
brought together in this v. 49 the purifying element salt, and the 
destroying element fire, and the statement is that the destructive 
element performs a purifying part. The object of all retributions, 
even of the penal retributions of Gehenna, is to purify. They 
serve, like sickness in the physical being, to warn man against 
violations of the law of his being. But the statement is not re- 
stricted to these, but is extended, as the unlimited 7ras naturally 
suggests, to the cutting off of hand and foot and eye also. Every 
one shall be purified either by the loss of parts, self-inflicted to 
preserve the whole, or by the destroying fires of Gehenna. This 
is the law of our being, and every one has to submit to it, in one 
form or another. 

kolXov to aXas * — salt is good. The special form of purification 
meant is that of affliction. But the statement is general — that 
which purifies is good. dvaXov — literally saltless. dprva-ere 2 — 
will you season ? The meaning of the proverb is, that there are 
certain things in the world having special qualities which they can 
impart to other substances ; and if they lose these qualities, what 
can impart them to the very things which possess them as their 
special character? In other words, what can perfume the rose? 
what can salt salt? spice spice? or restore grace where it is lost? 
So, if loss loses its power to chasten, what will chasten loss ? r6 aAa. 

1 aAa in the last clause is formed regularly from aA?, which is regular, but not 
found here ; also from aAa, the reading of Tisch. in the first two clauses, and a later 
form. But it is not to be formed regularly from iAa?, though the two are conjoined 
in the authorities followed by Treg. WH. aAas is also a later form. 

2 This word means strictly to prepare food, and only in comic writers and the 
Bible, to season it. 

1 82 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [IX. 50-X. 12 

«X CTC * v eavrols a\a — have salt in yourselves. Our Lord's injunction 
is that they have the purifying element in themselves, instead of 
being dependent on outside agencies, such as loss and retribution, 
for it. This is the condition of purifying power in the outward 
agencies. Taste in the man himself is necessary to the savor of 
salt, feeling to the heat of fire, faith to the grace of God. dprjvev- 
€tc iv oXXtjXols 1 — cultivate peace, or be at peace, among yourselves. 
This injunction is the special form of the previous general admoni- 
tion fitted to the present case. They had been disputing about 
precedence among themselves, and about rights with another man, 
whose place among themselves they ought to have recognized. 

a\os in the first two clauses of v. 50 , ABCDNX II etc. aXa, Tisch. n * L A. 
&\a in last clause, Tisch. Treg. WH. «* AB*DL A I, 28, 209. 

This discourse is evidently one in which the connections of 
thought have been obscured, and interpretation hindered, by the 
imperfectness of the report. But our Gospel has preserved for 
us, however imperfectly, thoughts and connections both charac- 
teristic and valuable. In Mt. the setting of the discourse is the 
same, in Capernaum after the return from the mountain of Trans- 
figuration. And the connections of thought in the conversation 
are the same, until we come to Mk.'s peculiar ending. Instead 
of this, we have the parable of the lost sheep, and from that it 
runs on into different discourse. Lk. introduces the discourse in 
the same way, but carries it on only through the part relating to 
the man healing in his name. The danger of leading astray a dis- 
ciple he introduces elsewhere. But Mk.'s ending, however peculiar 
and difficult, has an air of verisimilitude, not in form, but in matter. 

X. 1-12. Jesus departs from Galilee, and comes to Judcza 
and Percea. The Pharisees try him with one of their test- 
questions, in regard to divorce. Jesus answer. 

Jesus' ministry in Galilee is at an end, and he goes into the 
region of Southern Palestine. Between this beginning and the 
controversy about divorce which Mk. introduces immediately, 
there is a gap, which Lk. fills in with his most characteristic 
matter. This question of divorce was one of the puzzles of the 

1 To make this phrase consistent, either the pron. should be changed to the 
reflexive, or the prep, to /xera. 


schools, arising from the ambiguity of the law. Jesus, in his 
answer, interprets the law in accordance with the liberal school, 
which allowed laxness of divorce ; but says that this license was 
due to their spiritual dulness. From the beginning, i.e., originally 
and essentially, marriage, being based on the sexual distinction 
and act, and therefore a Divine institution, is indissoluble, and 
divorce involves adultery. 

1. Kat IkzWzv — And from this place. The place meant is 
Capernaum. See g 33 . kcu irepav r. 'lopSdvov — and across the 
Jordan. The general district, to. opia, into which he came was 
Southern Palestine, including the region on both sides of the 
river. iraXtv o^Aot — multitudes again. During the last part of 
the time in Galilee, he was alone with his disciples. See 9 30 - 32 . 
But now, in Judaea, he is entering on a new phase of his general 
mission, the multitudes gather around him again, and he is teach- 
ing them as usual. The Impf. coYoWkcv denotes not a single act, 
but a course of action, and should be translated, was teaching. 

Kol, instead of dta toO, before iripav, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L 


2. Kat 7rpoa-e\06vT€<s <E»a/3to-atot iirrjpwriov avrov — And Pharisees 
ca?ne to him and asked him. ireipd£ovTes avrov — testing him. 
This was a test, not a temptation. He claimed to be a Rabbi, and 
they proposed to put' him to a test by propounding to him one of 
their puzzles. The law of divorce itself allowed it in case of the 
wife's coming into disfavor with her husband because of his find- 
ing something unseemly in her. The school of Shammai, which 
was in general the stricter school, interpreted this to apply only 
to cases of adultery, while the opposite school of Hillel licensed 
divorce under it for any cause. See Deut. 24 1 . The ambiguity 
of the passage, and the disputes of the Rabbis, made it a cause 
celebre, fitted to test, and possibly to discredit, the superior wis- 
dom claimed by Jesus. 

Omit oi, the, before Qapiaouoi, Treg. WH. RV. ABL TAII, two mss. Lat. 
Vet. ixT}pd)Tuv, instead of iirrjpwTTiaav, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. s BCDLM A. 

3. IveruXaro Moiv o~r}s ; — What did Moses command you ? 
Jesus recognizes that this is to them primarily a question of the 
Mosaic Law, and so, in order to get the matter properly before 
them, he asks for the law. 

4. (3l/3\lov l — means a roll, the form in which all written docu- 
ments were prepared at the time. tooo-rao-Lov 2 — of divorce. This 

1 01/3A.IOJ/ is a diminutive from /3 t 'j8Ao<r, which denotes primarily the papyrus plant, 
the bark of which was prepared for writing. 

2 This word is rare, and in the sense of divorce it is peculiar to the Bible. 

1 84 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 4-7 

reply does not contain the condition of the divorce in the original, 
which made the subject of dispute between the two schools, viz., 
that the wife had come into disfavor because the husband found 
something unseemly in her (Deut. 24 1 ). This is an indication 
that Jesus' questioners belonged to the school of Hillel, which 
found in it practically no barrier to absolute freedom of divorce, 
so that in citing the law, they would ignore this as having no bear- 
ing on the case. Mt. 19 3 " 7 gives a different version of the affair, 
which, however, defines their position still more distinctly as the 
liberal position. According to that, their question is, whether it 
is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for every cause. Jesus 
answers this by defining his own position forbidding divorce, when 
they ask, why Moses allowed it then. The order is unimportant, 
and there is nothing to choose between the two accounts. 

5. 6 Sc 'Irjo-ovs et7rev avrols, ILoos r. aKXypoKapSiav v/jlCjv €ypa\f/ev 
vplv tt]v ivroXrjv ravTrjv — And Jesus said to the?n out of re- 
gard to the hardness of your heart} he wrote you this command. 
crKXr/poKaphia 2 — coarseness of spirit. ckXt/po? means hard, in the 
sense of rough or coarse, rather than unimpressible. KapoYa is the 
common word for the inner man generally, in the N.T. The 
whole word denotes the rude nature which belongs to a primitive 
civilization. This principle of accommodation to the time in 
Scripture is of inestimable importance, and of course limits finally 
the absoluteness of its authority. We find that the writers were 
subject to this limitation, as well as their readers. See also J. 16 12 . 
This answer of Jesus admits the correctness of the interpretation 
of Hillel and his school, as far as it was a matter of interpretation. 

'0 5£, instead of Kal airoKpidels 6, And answering, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BCL A Memph. 

6. d™ Sc apxys KTto-ews — But from the beginning of creation. 
Jesus goes back from the Mosaic Law to the original constitution 
of things, for which he cites Gen. i 27 , in connection with 2 24 . 
This connection, instead of basing marriage on the taking of 
woman from man, puts it on the much broader and more rational 
ground of their sexual relation. 

dpacv kcu drjXv tTroi-qo-zv avrovs — male and female he made them? 

Omit 6 0e6s, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 
This conforms to the original, in which 6 Qe6s belongs to the preceding part 
of the statement, and is omitted here. 

7. h/cKev tovtov — on this account, viz., because of the physical 
relation, pointing to an even closer union than that between 
parent and child. Both belong to the perpetuity of the family, 

1 On this meaning of Trpd?, see Win. 49 h, c). It is not common Greek usage. 

2 <TK\r]poKapSia is a Biblical word. 3 Gen. 1' 27 . 


but the relation of husband and wife is, in the nature of things, 
more intimate and compelling. With the omission of the last clause, 
and shall cleave to his wife, stress is laid on the separation from 
father and mother, and so on the superiority of the other union. 

Omit koX 7rpo<TKo\\r)dri<r€Tcu irpbs ttjp yvpaiKa avrov, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) 
WH. RV. marg. n B. 

8. k. tcrovrai 01 Suo eis crdpKa (alclv — and the two shall become 
one flesh} ol 8vo is not found in the Heb., but was introduced into 
the Sept. It adds nothing to the meaning, though it strengthens 
the expression of it. larovrai ci? is a Hebraism, denoting the 
coming into a state. 2 The union pointed out is a physical one, 
being that to which the sexual relation points — they shall become 
one flesh. The sexual act unites them, makes them one, the same 
as the junction of two streams make one river, the union of hydro- 
gen and oxygen in certain proportions makes one substance, water, 
the mechanical joining of different parts fitted to each other makes 
the one structure, oWe ovkc'ti dm. 8vo, aXXa. fxia <raip£ — so that 
they are no longer two, but one flesh. This is our Lord's inference 
from the preceding quotation. The duality no longer exists ; it 
has been replaced by this structural unity. Before, there had 
been two beings structurally fitted for each other; now, their 
union makes this new structural unity. If they had remained two, 
they would be separate ; but being now structurally one, they 
belong together. 

9. o ovv 6 ®eos arwe£ev£cv, av0po)7ro<; fxrj ^(opt^cVa) — what therefore 
God joined together, let not man separate. The act of joining 
together is God's, since the constitution that underlies it is His ; 
divorce, on the other hand, is a matter of human legislation ; and 
the human is not to set aside the divine. God has not only 
created this structural unity in the original creation of man ; he 
has made man himself to recognize this purpose of his structure, 
and has written this law of his physical being in his spiritual nature, 
so that what tends in brutes to indiscriminate intercourse, tends 
in man to the indissoluble and sacred bond of marriage. Jesus 
nowhere shows the absolute rationality and verity of his thought 
more than here. Spirituality is the very core of that thought, but 
it never misleads him so that he misses the material facts. And 
it is the insistence on these here, that saves him from an immoral 
sentimentality. Whatever may underlie marriage in the realm of 
the feelings, it is itself physical, and produces structural unity. 
And about that, for the profoundest reasons, God gathers all the 
holiest feelings, and by solemn sanctions, confines them within 
that circle. Except for that confinement, the feelings themselves 
lose their sacredness, and become unhallowed and profane. 

1 Gen. a**. 2 Heb. 9 gpii. 

1 86 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 10-12 

10. Kai eis rrjv oi/a'av 1 -rraXiv, oi fxa8r)Tal Trtpl tovtov lir-qpoiTOiv 
avrov — And {having come) into the house again, the disciples asked 
him about this. 

els tt)v oikLclv, instead of iv ry olnlq., Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDL A. 
Omit avrov, his, after oi fxadrjTal, the disciples, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n 
BCL A 28. tovtov, this, instead of rod avrov, the same, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. n ABCLMNX TA mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. eir-qp^ruv, instead of 
iTn]p(vT7](rav, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. n BCL A. 

11. "Os av aTTokxHrr) — JV/wsoever puts away his wife, 
av, instead of iav, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCDL A. 

Jesus states now what takes place in case of a second marriage 
following a mere formal divorce. It is to be inferred from the 
previous statement of the indissolubility of the marriage bond. 
Any formal sundering of the tie leaves it really whole ; the union 
being of this natural, physical kind, not accomplished by any for- 
mal procedure, but in the sexual act uniting man and woman, no 
formal procedure can break it, but simply leaves it as it was. And 
so, if any man divorces his wife and marries another, the second 
marriage goes for naught and the connection is an adulterous one, 
simply because the divorce is nil ; it does nothing towards dissolv- 
ing the marriage. 

12. k. eav avrrj airoXvcracra t. aVSpa at'T^s yafxycrr) aXXov — and 
if she, having put away her husband, marries another. Under 
the Jewish law, the wife could not put away her husband, and 
while Jesus goes outside of Jewish law and develops general prin- 
ciples in his teaching, he does not travel outside of Jewish custom 
in finding the occasion of that teaching. This is one of the things 
that point to the Gentile surroundings and destination of this 
Gospel. Though evidently written by a Jew, it grew up in Gentile 
soil, and there this appendix to Jesus' own teaching became per- 
fectly natural. The exception to this prohibition of divorce — 
except for the cause of adultery — stated in Mt. 19 9 is really-implied 
in our Lord's statement of principles as recounted in our Gospel, 
because adultery is the real dissolution of the marriage tie, as dis- 
tinguished from the formal divorce. Precisely as divorce does not 
break the marriage tie, adultery does break it. But the state- 
ment is not full and clear without this, and in this respect the 
account of Mt. is to be followed. 

avrrj aToXtiaaaa, instead of yvvi] airoXvo-Q . . . /cat, a woman puts away 
. . . and, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCL A Memph. ya/j.^<rr) dXXov, instead 
of yap.r)6y AWy, is married to another, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BC * DL A 
1, 13, 28, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. 

1 This use of ei? without even any verb like sit or stand, implying previous 
action, or motion to a place, is to be noticed. The return to the house is implied 
without any verb to suggest it. 



13-16. Jesus blesses little children, and rebukes his dis- 
ciples for repelling those bringing them. 

Jesus meets with opposition here, but also with trust. They 
bring to him little children, that they may receive that wonderful 
touch which has healed so many. The disciples, whose thoughts 
are busy now with the important affairs of the kingdom, which 
seemed to them so near, rebuke them for intruding so slight 
matters on the Messiah. But Jesus became very angry, and bade 
the children to be brought to him, as representing the very spirit 
to which the kingdom belongs. 

Mt. and Mk. are parallel in their account from the close of the Galilean 
ministry to the final entry into Jerusalem. Lk. introduces, between the 
departure from Galilee and this point, much of his most characteristic 
matter. But beginning here, with the events immediately preceding the 
entry into Jerusalem, the three accounts become parallel. The following is 
a synopsis of these events : 




Question of Divorce. 


Blessing of Children. 



Rich Young Man. 



Parable of Householder. 

Prophecy of Death. 



Petition of James and John. 


Blind Men at Jericho. 



13. tW axp-qrai avrwv — that he may touch them. The symbolic 
action accompanying the blessing was the laying on of hands. 
See v. 16. Touch gives the rationale of that conventional form. 
The mere touch of that wonderful being had cured, restored, 
raised. His method in conveying these blessings had been the 
laying on of hands, and they saw in this the effect of contact with 
so marvellous a man. I-kit'i^v avrots — rebuked them. This re- 
buke was directed against the presumption of those persons in 
bringing mere children to the attention of so great and busy a 
person as Jesus. 

avrois, instead of tois irpocrfitpovtrip, those bringing them, Treg. niarg. 
WH. RV. x BCL A two mss. Lat. Vet. It is against this, that avrois is the 
reading of Mt. and Lk. 

14. rjyavaKTrjae — was indignant. Or rather, in accordance with 
the use of aor. to denote the entering on a state denoted by the 
verb, became indignant} The composition with ayav makes this a 
strong word. 

1 Burton, 41. 

1 88 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 14-16 

*A<pere rot, iratSia Ipx^^Bai 7rpo's fxc ' pJq kwXvctc. avrd — Suffer 
the little children to come to me; forbid them not. The omission 
of the conjunction between the two clauses gives abruptness and 

Omit ical, and, before ^ KuXvere Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BM* NX 
TAII Memph. 

twv yap roiovTOiv icrrlv rj fiacriXeCa, etc. — for to such belongs 
the kingdom of God. The gen. is possessive, which is not denoted 
by of such is, AV. and RV. tw toiovtw denotes those possessing 
the childlike spirit of docility and humility. Cf. Mt. 18 4 . The 
spirit is one that belongs to them as children, and is the result of 
their position of dependence and subordination, the same as the 
discipline which belongs to the condition of a soldier. But those 
who show that disposition, when it is no longer the effect of posi- 
tion, but a manifestation of character, belong to the kingdom of 
God. In children therefore, as children, appears the very quality 
of the kingdom, and this gives them a special distinction in the 
eyes of its members. They are not to be turned away as unworthy 
the attention of its king. The kingdom of God in the world con- 
sists of those who substitute for self-will and independence the 
will of God, and trust in his wisdom and goodness. And this is 
the attitude of childhood. What children feel towards their 
parents man should feel towards God. 

15. os av /xt] S^rjraL r. /3a(Ti\etav r. ©eou ws rraiBiov ov firj ela-eXOrj 
cis avrrjv — whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little 
child, shall not enter into it. The kingdom of God is in its idea, 
its essence, the rule and the authority of God, and then the sphere 
in which he bears rule, either the spirit of the individual man, or 
the assemblage of its subjects, the society constituted by them. 
When Jesus speaks of its acceptance, it is the rule itself which is 
meant ; that is to be accepted with unquestionable obedience, as 
the child accepts the parental rule. And on the other hand, when 
he speaks of entrance into it, he means the society of its subjects, 
the perfect state and order which results from doing the will of 
God. ' 

av, instead of eav, after os Tisch. Treg. WH. N BCDL A I. 

16. Kcu ei/ayKaXto-a/Acvos ! avrd, KarevAoya 2 Tifleis ras X"P as €7r 
a {j T( l — And having taken them in his arms, he blessed them, put- 
ting his hands on them. 

KarevXSyei ridels ras x^P as ^ 7r ' mt&i instead of ridels ras x e 'P ai ^** 
avrd, r]v\6yei avrd, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A Memph. 

1 See on 9 36 . The word occurs only in these two passages, and in the Sept. 

2 KarcvKoyet. is a compound found only here in the Bible, and not at all outside. 
On the Hebraistic meaning of evkoyelv, to invoke blessings on, see on 6 41 . On the 
augment of verbs beginning with ev, see Win. 12, 3. 



17-31. Jesus is asked the way to obtain life by a rich 
young man, and points him the way of the commandments. 
The young man professes to have kept these, and then Jesus 
shows him the way of self renunciation. His disappoint- 
ment leads Jesus to speak of the danger of wealth, and of 
the reward of renunciation. 

The young man addresses Jesus as Good Teacher, and asks 
what he shall do to inherit eternal life. Jesus takes up this address 
first, and asks why he calls him good, when only God is good. 
And he points him to the commands of God for the answer 
to his question. The young man claims to have kept these, and 
as Jesus looks at him, he loves the evident feeling for righteous- 
ness that leads a man of manifestly moral life to dissatisfaction 
with himself, and seeing that it is his wealth that stands in the way, 
he bids him sell out, give to the poor, and follow him. It is evi- 
dent that he has probed the difficulty, for the man has too much 
to give up and sadly turns away. Jesus then turns to his disciples, 
and shows them that riches are a stumbling block in the way of 
life. This excites their astonishment, as wealth and respectability 
go together. Whereupon, Jesus tells them that it is no easy thing 
to enter into the kingdom of God anyway, and for a rich man 
next to impossible ; in fact, impossible with men, and only possible 
with God. Peter, conscious (perhaps a little too conscious) that 
this demand of self-renunciation has been complied with by the 
disciples, asks what their reward will be. Jesus answers, rewards 
in kind here, with persecution; and in the future eternal life. 
But, lest they should think of themselves as having any exclusive 
right, or even necessary preeminence in the kingdom, he warns 
them that many first shall be last, and last first. 

17. Kat iK-rropevofxevov avrov 1 eis rrjv 680V — And as he went forth 
into the road. See v. 10 , where he is said to have gone into the house. 
els — The numeral is used sometimes, especially in late writers, in 
the sense of the indef. ti?. The usage is so rare, however, as to 
warrant its rejection, except in sure cases. Here, it means that 

1 On this use of the gen. abs., where the noun or pronoun belongs to the structure 
of the sentence, see Win. 30, n, Note. 


one man came by himself to consult Christ. 1 yow^e-r^o-as 2 — 
having kneeled to him. £a)r)v atdmov K\rjpovofjL^ar<x> — to inherit 
eternal life? Eternal life was the term in common use among the 
Jews to denote the blessings of the Messianic kingdom, both here 
and hereafter. 

18. Tt fxc Acyeis aya$6v ; — Why do you call me good? fie is not 
emphatic, as is shown by the use of the enclitic form. The reason 
of this question, and of the denial of goodness to any one but God 
which follows it, is that God alone possesses the absolute good. 
He is what others become. Human goodness is a growth, even 
when there is no imperfection. It develops, like wisdom, from 
childhood to youth, and then to manhood. And it was this 
human goodness which was possessed by Jesus. See Lk. 2 52 , 
Heb. 2 10 5 8 . This has a bearing, too, on the question propounded 
by the young man, since it was not to the good teacher as such, 
but to the absolutely good God, that questions in regard to the 
real good that brings the promised reward should be addressed. 
And this is the form in which question and answer are put in 
Mt. iq 17 as follows : "What good thing shall I do to inherit eter- 
nal life?" "Why do you ask me concerning the good thing? 
One is good, God." 

19. Ta? ej/ToAas otSa? — You know the commandments. This is 
connected immediately with the preceding statement about God. 
These commands belong to the law of the one only absolutely 
good Being, and it is therefore in these commands that the young 
man is bidden to look for the answer to his question. Moreover, 
he is familiar with these commands, and why therefore seek any 
further for his answer. There is, however, an answer to this seem- 
ingly unanswerable question of Jesus. Though the commands 
are divine, and as divine would be a ne plus ultra, they were 
revealed through men, and this human element in them makes it 
possible for men belonging to a more spiritual time, or themselves 
more spiritual, to go further in revealing the ways of God to men. 
That is what Jesus himself did in the Sermon on the Mount, set- 
ting in contrast the imperfect commands of the ancients and his 
own perfect injunctions. This is one of the cases therefore, in 
which Jesus suggests more than appears on the surface, viz., that 
there is a chance that even so-called divine commands may not 
be ultimate. The suggestion itself is pertinent to a time of transi- 
tion from one era of divine revelation to another, and the method 
of suggestion is not absent from the teaching of Jesus, who fre- 
quently gave men something to think of, some riddle to solve, 
instead of always throwing so much light himself as to save them 

1 Win. 18, 9. a yownerelv is a later Greek word. 

8 In classical Greek, this verb is restricted to the meaning, to obtain by inheri- 
tance, and it governs the gen. 


all trouble. In this very case, Jesus proceeds to add something to 
what he has cited as the divine commands, showing that these do 
not contain the last words in the matter. The commands cited 
by him are those of the second table of the law, except the tenth, 
and with the command defraud not, added. This addition is not 
to be referred to a single passage like Deut. 24 14 , but is a remi- 
niscence of many such passages, besides being a self-evident part 
of the law of righteousness. 1 

20. Kat 1^)77, ravra 7ravra £<f>v\a£dfxr)v — And he said, all these I 
kept. This claim of innocence on the part of the young man was 
evidently not intended to be absolute, but was simply that this had 
been the general course of his life, viz., a course of observance of 
the divine law. The cause of his dissatisfaction with himself was 
not that his obedience to these commands was not perfect, a per- 
fection which was not expected by Judaism, as their system of 
sacrifices showed, but a secret feeling that this was not enough. 

£<f>v\a$a[xr)V — / kept. 

Omit airoKpidels, answering, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n B A 
Memph. €#77, instead of ilirev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC A Memph. 

21. i/xftXeif/as avrw, rjyaTr-qcrev avrov — the look was evidently to 
confirm the impression made by the words of the young man. 
Here was a constant observer of the law, who yet was not satisfied 
with himself. Would his looks bear out the impression created 
by this? Would sincerity, purity, and though tfuln ess appear in 
his face and bearing ? Yes, for Jesus having looked on him, loved 
him. *Ev o-e vo-repel — One thing you lack. 

ffe, instead of <rot, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. x BCM II* 28. 

The commands of the law which had been cited were mostly 
negative ; they forbade a man's doing any harm to his neighbor, 
and in the matter of his goods, they forbade stealing and defraud- 
ing. And so far in the path of righteousness the young man had 
gone. The thing which was lacking in him was the positive side, 
to contribute to his neighbor's good, and for this purpose, to sacri- 
fice his own. This was not enjoined by Jesus as an extraordinary 
goodness, not required of other men (supererogation, counsels of 
perfection), nor was it intended to apply a test to him, which 
should reveal to him an entirely different righteousness (Pauline 
doctrine of faith); but it was just what it purported to be, the 
discovery to him of a serious defect in an otherwise lovable char- 
acter. Jesus saw that he clung to his wealth in a way quite incom- 
patible with any just estimate of the higher good ; that there was 

1 See Mai. 3s, Ex. 21W LXX. 

2 This sense of keeping, by way of observing, is in classical Greek confined to 
the active, and is attached to the middle only in Biblical Greek. 

192 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 21-23 

hidden in that love of riches a luxurious self-love and a lack of 
sympathy with the want of men, that made it endanger the very 
roots of character. The counsel that he gives him, therefore, is 
adapted to his individual case. There are evidently two grounds 
for it : one the need of the man himself, and the other the desire 
of Jesus to attach this choice spirit to himself, to have him in the 
inner circle of his disciples attending immediately upon himself. 
He needed to cut away all his attachments to the world, all his 
temptations to luxurious, self-indulgent living, for his own good, 
but specially in order to follow the hard and self-denying life of 
Jesus. This requirement of personal discipleship was what the 
first disciples had met themselves of their own motion, but they 
did not have the temptation of wealth to overcome. See i 16 " 20 , 2 14 . 
80s (-rots) 7TTa>xots — Without the art. it means, give to poor people, 
individualizing it. This meets another side of the young man's 
lack, his want of sympathy with the poor. &feis drjcravpov h ov- 
pavy — This is related, first, to the question, what he should do 
to inherit eternal life, with which he approached Jesus ; and 
secondly, to Jesus' requirement; he should sell earthly posses- 
sions in order to obtain treasure in heaven, kcu Sevpo, olkoXovOcl 
(xol — and co7tie, follow me. This means in this case, evidently, 
become my personal follower, attached to my person. Here was 
a lovely but weak character, not inured to self-sacrifice nor heroic 
living ; and it needed, on the one hand, to be initiated into such 
living, and on the other, the companionship of the strong and 
sympathetic Master. 

Omit rots before tttwx<hs, Treg. (WH.) RV. ABNX TA. Omit Apas 
rbv (rravpov, having taken up the cross, after aico\o6dei /xoi, follow me, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. n BCD A 406, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. edd. 

22. e O Se o-Tvyvao-as 1 — And his countenance fell, RV. The 
word denotes the outward sign of sorrow, gloom. 

rjv yap e\ <JiV KT Vl xaTa voWd — for he had great wealth. The 
grief was caused by his having to go away without obtaining his 
object ; the going away was caused by what seemed to him the 
impossibility of Jesus' conditions. It might be comparatively easy 
for a man having only small or moderate possessions to give them 
up, but it involved too great a sacrifice in his case. 

23. II009 oWkoAcd? ol ra. xprjp,ara t^oi/res eis r. (3a(TL\eiav tov ®eov 
elaeXevaovTau ; — With what difficulty will those having wealth enter 
into the kingdom of God? Jesus generalizes here, and the case in 
hand goes far to confirm what he says, because there is nothing to 
complicate the conditions ; we can see the working of wealth by it- 
self. Here is a lovely character, with no other adverse conditions, 
and yet just the possession of wealth is enough to undermine it. He 

1 <nvyvaaa<> is a rare word, even in the Bible, and is found outside only in 
Polybius, iao B.C. 


had gone along through life, choosing purity instead of lust, honesty 
instead of fraud, truth instead of falsehood, but in all this he had 
not been called upon to make the supreme choice, his wealth had 
not stood in the way. But now, he is confronted with a wisdom 
that is able to show him what is for him the supreme good, and 
there wealth gets in its deadly work. The lower good proves to 
be stronger than the higher, and the latter is set aside. There is 
the difficulty ; the kingdom of God does not consist in the practice 
of this or that separate virtue, but in the choice of the highest 
good, which regulates individual acts ; and wealth has the power, 
beyond most other things, of making itself appear the greatest 

24. Ot Se fjLaOrjral ida/x/SovvTo €7rt Tots Aoyois avrov 1 — And the 
disciples were astonished at his words. The disciples were amazed 
at these words, the same as every one is amazed now ; or rather, 
their amazement then corresponds to the entire disuse into which 
sayings of this class have fallen now. Then, as now, there was an 
established religion, in which wealth enabled its possessor to come 
to the front, and occupy the most prominent positions. So far 
from disqualifying them, it gave its possessors prestige, and always 
wealth leads to culture and respectability, while poverty is the 
parent of vice and crime. The ordinary condition of the world is 
that of routine morals, and it has no ear for revolutionary words 
like these. 

25. 7raj? SvctkoXov iariv eis t. /? . . . eicre\6eiv — how difficult it is 
to enter into the kingdom of God. The internal evidence is quite 
in favor of the shorter reading, because it is short, and because it 
is one of those cases in which a brief and somewhat puzzling 
saying is a constant temptation to copyists and commentators to 
introduce something explanatory and alleviating. The longer 
reading would be intended to modify the preceding statement 
by showing that it was not the possession of wealth, but the trust 
in it, confidence in its power to procure all the necessary satisfac- 
tions and goods of life, that prevented entrance into the kingdom. 
The shorter reading generalizes still more the preceding state- 
ment, making the difficulty of entering the kingdom to be inherent 
in its nature, and so universal, instead of locating it in the class, 
rich men. It involves the choice of the highest good, which in 
various ways, and not merely on the side of wealth, interferes with 
what men consider the more immediate and practical good. 

Omit roiis ireiroidbras iirl tois xi^jucurii', those who trust in riches, Tisch. 
Treg. marg. WH. RV. niarg. n B A one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. ed. 

evKOTTWTcpov icTTL KafArjXov Blol rpv/xaXia^ pa<j>L8os SuXOeiv 2 — // IS 
easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye. The proverb is an 

1 On the use of £ni to denote the cause of emotion, see Win. 48 c, c) . 

2 evKonuTepov and Tpv/uaAtas are both Biblical words. 

194 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 25-27 

exaggerated rhetorical statement of the difficulty. In the parallel 
accounts in Mt. and Lk., some mss. have the reading KapaXov, 
meaning a cable, which is much more apposite. Using the shorter 
reading in v. 25 , as on the whole more probable, the whole would 
mean, it is hard for any man to get into the kingdom of God, and 
for a rich man next to impossible. He is in the position of having 
the lower good which other men want, and this is more of an 
obstacle to the perception and choice of the higher good. 

Omit rijs before rpv/xaXfas Treg. WH. RV. x ACDFKMNU TAIL Be- 
fore pa(t>l5os Treg. WH. RV. x ACDGKMNU An Memph. 5te\0«p, 
instead of el<re\dciv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BC(D)K II, i, 69, 124, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Syrr. 

26. 7repto-o-co5 i$e7r\TJ(rcrovTo — before, they had been astonished ; 
now, they were excessively beside themselves with amazement. This 
making the difficulty of entering the kingdom universal, and 
increasing it in the case of rich men to almost an impossibility, 
fairly took away their breath. For one of the promises in regard 
to that kingdom had been, that prosperity and righteousness were 
to become common in Israel, and even to be extended to the 
Gentiles. And Jesus seemed to be making it more and more 
inaccessible than ever. 

Xeyovrcs 7rpo<i eavrovs (avrov) — saying to themselves (Jiitn). 

avrbv, instead of eavrovs, Treg. marg. WH. RV. X BCD Memph. Tisch. 
urges against this the usage of Mk., who never says Xtyeiv irpbs, except 
with iavTofc or dWrjXovs. 

Kat Tt? hvvarai awOrjvai; — Who then {And who) can be saved? 
kou, with interrogatives, makes an abrupt rejoinder to what has 
been said. 1 

27. Ilapa avOpwTrois dSvvarov — With men it is impossible. Sal- 
vation is impossible with men ; but in salvation, we are dealing 
not with men, but with God. The incarnation and the Holy Spirit 
are not within the category of human agencies, but of the Divine, 
and given these, even the impossibilities of human nature have to 
give way. iravra yap Swara. iravra is emphatic. All things are 
possible with God, not because he can travel outside the ordinary 
agencies, and bring things to pass by a simple fiat, but because he 
has limitless command of all the forces in any department. In 
the moral and spiritual sphere, he brings things to pass, not by 
recourse to other than moral and spiritual agencies, but by the 
word, the Spirit, and the Christ, all of them agencies charged with 
spiritual power. 

Omit St, and, after ifip\tyas, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BC* A I, 
Memph. Omit tc? before 9e<£ Tisch. Treg. WH. x BCNX TA. Omit ecrn 
after Sward Tisch. Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. x BC. 

1 Win. 53, 3 a. Thay.-Grm. Lex. I. sg. 


28. "Hp£aro ' Ae'yeiv 6 IIcTpo? clvtu), 'iSov, ^/ieis d<f)^KafX€v 2 7rarra, 
Kat rjKoXovdrjKafxiv 2 vol — Peter began to say to kirn, Lo, we left all, 
and have followed thee. 

Omit Kai, And, before Tip£aTO, &gs», Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCX TA. 
TjKoXovdtfKajxev, instead of -aafj-ev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BCD. 

^/m? — we is emphatic, contrasting their conduct with that of the 
rich young man. Mt. adds what is implied in the other accounts, n 
dpa lo-rat i'fuv ; what shall we have therefore ? This seems to be a 
most incongruous and unspiritual question to ask in the religious 
and moral sphere. What we shall get for our self-denial, is a 
question which shows that the disciples were entirely unable to 
understand their leader's ruling ideas. And yet from their posi- 
tion, the question was inevitable. Because their Scriptures and 
ecclesiastical writings, which they regarded as authoritative in these 
matters, are full of descriptions of the prosperity and bliss of the 
Messianic kingdom, of the temporal and material rewards of the 
faithful. And so far they had met with nothing in their associa- 
tion with the man whom they believed to be the Messianic king, 
but privation ; instead of adding to their worldly good, this asso- 
ciation had diminished, if not destroyed it. They had borne 
everything for him ; what return would he, in his greatness, make 

29. *J*j<f>r] 6 'It/o-ov?, 'A/u.771/ Acyto vfxiv, ov8et<s icrnv os a<f>r}Kev oIklolv, 
rj d8e\<pov l s, rj dSeAcpas, rj pLrjripa, r) Traripa, rj T€Kva, 77 aypovs, It/e/cev 
c/xov Kat h/cKcv tov cvayyeXiov — Jesus said, Verily I say to you, 
there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, 
or father, or children, or fields, for my sake, and for the sake of the 
glad-tidings (of the kingdom) . 

*E0?7 6 'ItjctoOs, instead of aTOKpidete 5t 6 'Irjtrovs elirev, and fesus answer- 
ing said, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. N B A Memph. /x^r^a rj irartpa, 
instead of the reverse order, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BC A 106, mss. Lat. 
Vet. one tns. Vulg. Memph. Omit rj yvvatKa, or wife, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. nBDA I, 66, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Insert Zvetcev before 
tov eiayyeXLov Tisch. Treg. (WH.) RV. n B2or3 CDNS 2 X TAII mss. Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr. 

It is misleading, here as most everywhere, to translate ewxyye- 
Xlov, gospel. It means glad- tidings , and the special message 
intended is that of the kingdom of God. Men who make sacri- 
fices for the benefit of the Messianic king, and of the news of the 
kingdom, will receive the blessings of the kingdom. e*aToi/7rA.a- 
a-iova — a hundredfold; there is a reminiscence in this word of the 

1 Began to say, instead of merely said, is best explained here as a mere fashion 
of speech, into which the writer falls, without any special reason for it. 

2 The aor. and perf. are here to be distinguished from each other, the aor., we 
left, as denoting simple past action, the perf., we have followed, as denoting action 
continuing into the present. 

196 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 29-34 

apocalyptic character of the familiar descriptions of the blessings 
of the Messianic kingdom. But Jesus uses such language from 
the religious idiom of this time only to idealize it. To be sure, 
his words imply that the reward will be in kind; they will give up 
these things only to receive a hundredfold of the same. But, 
evidently, hundreds of brothers and sisters and mothers is meant 
to be taken ideally, and means that he will receive what will 
replace the lost relatives in that degree. The relationships of the 
kingdom take the place of natural kindred. 1 And the member 
of the kingdom is an heir not only of heaven, but of earth. 2 
Jesus had nowhere to lay his head, and yet he was conscious of 
a lordship and possession of the earth, into which every true fol- 
lower of his can enter. They have nothing, and yet possess all 
things. 3 fxera Siwy/Atov — with persecutions. These, Jesus had 
already predicted in his talks with his disciples previous to leaving 
Galilee. The new element introduced by him here is the other 
side belonging to this ideal life, the compensations and rewards 
even in this life, belonging to the Christian. eV t<3 cuwvi tuJ epx°- 
(X€vu> — in the coming age. There is only one passage, Heb. i 2 , 
where aiwv is used by metonymy, of space, instead of time. The 
reference is to the future life, in which the world, as well as the 
time, is new, but there is no reason why the meaning of ato5y 
should be changed, any more than that of Kcupos, time, in the 
corresponding clause. £u>r)v aloiviov — on the use of this term 
among the Jews, see on v. 17 . But it is evident that Jesus, in 
adopting, spiritualized it. Only, in this case, he found the word 
made ready to his use which expressed in itself just the state 
intended by him, though encumbered with alien meanings in 
common use. It is characteristic of his method, that he used the 
word without any explanation, leaving it to clarify itself as men 
got into the drift of his teaching. 

31. ttoWoL Se Icroj/rai 7rp(oroi co-^aTot — but many first shall be 
last. This is a warning to the disciples that the mere fact, that 
they were the earliest disciples and nearest his person, does not 
necessarily give them preeminence, nor any exclusive right to the 
blessings promised by him. The parable of the Laborers in the 
Vineyard, each of whom received his shilling without regard to 
the time that he had worked, is inserted by Mt. to enforce this 


32-34. On the journey to Jerusalem, Jesus again foretells 
his death and resurrection. 

1 See 335. 2 See Mt. 5*. s See 2 Cor. 61°. 


They are now on their way to Jerusalem. And there is evi- 
dently some feeling of fate overhanging them. It is evident 
enough that they had not understood Jesus' predictions of the 
violent death awaiting him in the city A But on their own con- 
struction of events, the approach to Jerusalem meant the crisis 
in their fate, the decision of the Messianic claim/' They were a 
mere handful, and the authorities were against them. Would the 
people be with them? And if they were, what of the Roman 
power? It is no wonder that they were astonished as Jesus put 
himself at their head, and that some turned back, while others 
followed with fear. Then Jesus takes the twelve aside, and 
repeats, with some additional details, the prophecy of his death 
and resurrection. The prophecy is given here with clearness and 
particularity, describing the whole course of events. And then 
follows the clearly impossible request of James and John for the 
first places in the Messianic kingdom. It is evident that the 
subsequent history has been read into what must have been at 
the time distinctly veiled prophecy. 

32. tjv 7rpo<iy<Dv — was preceding them. The introduction of 
this apparently commonplace item shows that attention is drawn 
to it as something out of the common. And in connection with 
TrapaXafiiov 7raAtv, in the following clause, it evidently means that 
Jesus was not mingling with his disciples as usual, but was going 
before them, kcu ida.pL/3ovvTo — and they were a??iazed. We are 
not told by what, but the very simple 7rpodyo>v is evidently put 
forth by the writer as containing the key of the situation. Some- 
thing in the manner of that invested the whole proceeding with 
mystery, and brought to their minds the fateful character of this 
progress to Jerusalem, the tremendous issues to be decided, and 
the odds against them. And somehow, with all their confidence 
in Jesus, the question might arise, whether it was confidence for 
such a crisis. 

ot Se aKoXoOovvres — and those following. Without the art., this 
would refer to the disciples. But with the art., it picks out some 
from among them, who followed Jesus, while the rest were left 
behind, too much perplexed to follow him. The statement is, that 
those who followed him did it with fear, koI irapaXafiuiv 7raA.1v — 
and having taken to himself again. This is opposed to -rrpoaywv 
(v. 32 ), which represents him as separating himself from them. But 
it is only the twelve, not the multitude generally, to whom he joins 
himself, as the teaching that follows is esoteric. He joins himself 
to them again, after he sees the effect produced on them by his 

198 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 32-34 

going on before them, and explains to them what it is that has 
produced the strangeness of his manner. 

01 5£, instead of Kal, before d/eoXov0oOvres Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* 
L A 1, Memph. 

33. avaftaivofxzv cts 'lepoaoXvfia — we are going tip to Jerusalem. 
This is what makes this journey so fateful. In Jerusalem, they 
will be confronted with the authorities, both Jewish and Roman. 
apxtep&xn • • • ypafxfxarevcn — the chief priests and the scribes. 
These two classes represented the Sanhedrim, the Great Council 
among the Jews, before which were tried all the more important 
cases coming under their own law, though the Roman government 
reserved to itself the right of capital punishment, kol vapaBuxjov- 
<tlv avTov t. tOvtvi — This delivering him over to the Gentiles, i.e. 
the Roman government, has not been mentioned in the account 
of the preceding predictions of his death. It was rendered 
necessary by the determination to put him to death, a power 
which the Roman government reserved to itself. They could not 
execute him, they had to procure his execution. 

t. Wvevi — the nations. The term by which the Jews designated 
all foreign nations. They were the nation ; all others were just 
the nations. 

34. ifXTraL^ovo-Lv . . . Ip-TTTvaovcnv . . . p.aaTiyui(TOV(Tiv — they 
will mock . . . spit upon . . . scourge. These details correspond 
exactly to what we are told of the event. The scourging was an 
invariable accompaniment of crucifixion. The general fact of 
mocking was to be expected, since his supposed claim to be a 
king would naturally excite the ridicule of Roman soldiers. Jesus 
might easily, therefore, have put these into his prophecy in a gen- 
eral way; but the exact form which the prophecy takes, and 
which is reproduced for substance by the other accounts, is in all 
probability a reflection of the event, put in by the original narra- 
tor, k. ju-eTa Toet? rfjxipa*; avacTT-ijcreTai — and after three days he 
will rise. The prediction of the crucifixion would rest on some- 
thing more than ordinary foresight, since the action of the Roman 
governor must have remained an incalculable element in any such 
forecast. And the resurrection, in the form in which it actually 
took place, and on a set day, was necessarily a revelation. This 
precise prediction, moreover, makes the total want of preparation 
for the event on the part of the disciples a curious psychological 

koX €ixittv<tov<xlv atrip, Kal fxaiTTiydxTova-LP avr6v, instead of the reverse 
order, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 237, 259, 406, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 
Memph. Hard. Omit avrbv after airoKTevovaiv Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. 
N BL A I, 209, two mss. Lat. Vet. fxera rpets rj/xtpas, instead of rjj Tplrr] 
7jp.£pa, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCDL A most mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 
Hard. marg. 



35-45. James and John ask for first and second places in 
his kingdom. Jesus assures them that they will share his 
lot, but that the decision of precedence does not rest with 
him, but with the Father. He shozvs that the conditio?is 
and nature of greatness in the kingdom are exactly the 
reverse of the earthly conditions. 

The noticeable thing about this event is not only the generally 
extraordinary character of the request, coming from the disciples 
of Jesus and just after his prediction of his death, but its ignoring 
of the claims of Peter, who was given the precedence, so far as 
there was any, by Jesus himself and by the disciples. This shows 
a painful state of things among the disciples, who exhibit not 
merely a desire for the material rewards of discipleship, such as 
was exhibited in Peter's question — what shall we have ? but the 
rivalries and jealousies that spring up as the natural fruit of such 
desire. Our Lord's method, on the other hand, is conspicuous, 
not only for the careful and consistent elimination of any such 
unspiritual element from his kingdom, but equally for the patience 
with which he dealt with the unspirituality of his disciples, until 
he had refined it into something like his own spirituality. In this 
case, he asks them first, if they know what they are asking, and 
shows them that to be next to him means to share the conspicuous 
dangers and sacrifices of his position. Then he shows them again, 
as in their previous dispute over the same matter, that greatness 
in the kingdom of God is the reverse of earthly greatness, the 
great one being he who serves, just as the Messianic king serves 
and is sacrificed. 

35. Xcyovre? avrio, Ai8a<r/caAe, Bikofxtv tva o eav alTrjo-oifxtv are ttol- 
ijcr^s rjfxlv. 1 — Saying to him, Teacher, we wish that you do for us 
whatever we ask you. 

Insert airy after Xtyovres Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A one ms. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. Insert <re after alr-fjauixev Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. n ABCL A mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Harcl. 

1 This use of lv* with the subj., instead of the inf., after verbs of desire and 
command, is common in Hellenistic Greek, but not in the classical writers. See 
Win. 44, 8. Burton 304. 

200 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 36-39 

36. Tt dtXere ttol^ctw vfxiv ; — What do you wish me to do for 
you ? Literally, what do you wish, shall I do for you ? l 

■jroi-qao}, instead of Troirjtxal /xe, Treg. WH. CD, I, 13, 69, 209. Add /xe 
Tisch. WH. marg. n c B. Versions also favor the subj. 

37. Ot Se el-Tray avrw, Aos rjpuv iva 2 cts o~ov ck 8e£iwv /cat cts 3 «£ 
dpLcrT€pG)v KaOta-iDfjiev h rrj 86£r) aov 4 — and they said to him, give 
us to sit, one on thy right hand, and one on thy left hand, in thy 

apLaTepCjv, instead of cvuivvfiwv, Tisch. Treg. WH. BL A. Omit gov in 
this place, Treg. WH. RV. BD A 1, mss. Lat. Vet. 

ck 8e£tiov . . . e£ dpio-Tepwv — these are the positions of honor 
next to the throne itself, the right hand having the precedence. 
This leaves Peter out. lv rrj 86£r) o-ov — in thy glory. The glory, 
that is, of the Messianic king. 

38. Ovk olBare ri alrdcrde — You know not what you ask. They 
did not know how absolutely this is a question of being first, and 
not of standing first, which makes it a question, not of appoint- 
ment, but of achievement. Nor did they know that it meant suf- 
fering, instead of honor, and that this would increase with the 
advanced position attained, tntiv to ironqpiov — drink the cup. 
The figurative use of the phrase to denote a man's portion in life, 
his hard or easy lot, belongs to other languages than the Greek. 
See Is. 5 1 17 , Jer. 49 12 , Ps. 16 5 , 23 s . Christ means to ask them if 
they are able, if they have the necessary fortitude and proper 
appreciation of values, to share the sacrifices of his position. 
Being baptized with his baptism is another figurative expression 
of the same thought, coming from the power of calamity to over- 
whelm. Can you, he asks, be immersed in that which has over- 
whelmed me? They have looked at only the glory of the coming 
kingdom. Jesus directs their attention to the sacrifices incurred 
in establishing that kingdom. 

77, or, instead of Kai, and, before to fidirTio-fia, the baptis?n, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BC* DLN A 1, 13, 28, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. Hard. 
i?i a rg. 

39. To TTOT-qptov . . . irUcrOe ' kou to ^Sa7rrto-/xa . . . (3a7rTLcr6r}o~co-$e 
— The cup . . . you will drink ; and with the baptism . . . you 
will be baptized. Of this Jesus can assure them, that they will 
share his sufferings. 

Omit nkv before ttottiplop Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L A mss. Vulg. 
Memph. Pesh. 

1 Here, we have the subj. without Iva, which is still more anomalous, being an 
elliptical combination of two constructions. See Win. 41 a, 4 b. Burton 171. The 
subj. is probably in this case the deliberative subj. 2 See note 1, p. 199. 

3 The Greeks use el? /xev, eU fie, to express this correlation. Win. 26, 2 a. 

4 86£a is confined in Greek writers to its proper subjective meaning, opinion, 
praise. The meaning, glory, majesty, as an objective state, comes from the Heb. 


40. to $c KaOicrai ck Se^iuiv fxov rj ££ €vo)vvfi(Dv * ovk Zariv ifxbv 
Sovvai — But to sit on my right handy or left handy is not mine to 

77, instead of Kal, before il- eiu>vvfj.wv Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 
73. Lat. Vet. Memph. Omit /wv after i£ eiW. Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
and almost everything. 

This statement of Jesus it is very easy to interpret superficially, 
as if it meant simply that the bestowment belonged not to one 
person, but to another — not to himself, but to the Father. But 
there is little doubt that Mk. has preserved for us the true form 
of statement in omitting mention of the Father, and so the con- 
trast between persons. They cannot have position in his kingdom 
by applying to either, as if it were a matter of personal preference. 
Position, it is not in his power to bestow; it belongs to those for 
whom it has been prepared. The meaning is, that this is a matter 
already disposed of, and so no longer in his power. The verb 
expresses nearly the idea of ordained. But it adds to this the 
thought of the preparation of the place. Each one is to have a 
place prepared and adapted for him. It is not therefore a ques- 
tion that can be settled as they were trying to settle it, by influence 
used with him personally. Fitness, and not influence, decides it. 
This becomes especially clear, when we consider the definition of 
greatness that follows. It consists in service, and he who serves 
most is greatest, a greatness already determined by the service, 
and not to be changed by any personal equation. 

41. 01 SeKa rjpiavro dyavaKTeti/ 2 — the ten began to be indignant. 
There was reason for this strong feeling on the part of the other 
disciples. The condition seems to have been, that Peter, James, 
and John were singled out by Jesus himself for such eminence 
among the twelve, as the twelve had among the other disciples. 
If there was any jealousy caused by this, it would be allayed by 
the fact that the Master selected those manifestly fit, and that it 
was unaccompanied by any outward advantage. But, now, there 
was an attempt to secure places in the coming kingdom and its 
glory, and Peter, the real leader of the twelve, was left out of the 
scheme. It was the introduction of political methods, such as 
invariably go with the materializing of ideas, the use of principles 
to secure power, and of power to advance principles in the world. 

42. Kal 7rpoo'KaX.€0'dfjLevo<s avrovs 6 'Iryo-ovs — And Jesus having 
called them. 

This reading, instead of 6 de 'I^trous irpoa-K. avrovs, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. n* et c - BCDL A tnss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

1 evtavvfioiv is used in the taking of auguries to denote euphemistically those of 
evil origin, the word itself meaning just the opposite. And so it comes to denote 
the left hand, that being the hand of evil omen, the sinister hand. 

2 See on v.i*. 

202 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 42-45 

ot Sokovvtcs dpx&v — those who seem to be chief. Jesus has in 
mind evidently the difference between their primacy and the 
ideal, dp\dv is a word that lends itself to such ideal treatment, 
as it contains in itself the notion of leadership, which is the only 
proper basis of rule. Men rule by force, by heredity, by fickle 
choice, by flattery, but how few are real leaders, ruling because 
possessing the qualities of leadership. KaTaKvpicvcrovo-Lv — loi-d it 
over them (RV.). They become Kvptoi, lords or masters, and the 
people become their servants, doing their will, and ministering to 
their pleasure. KaTe£ov<rid£ov(nv 1 — exercise authority over them. 

43, 44. ovx ovto) Be ccttiv iv vpiv ' dAA' os dv Oeky /xeyas yevc<r0ai 
ev, coral v/xdv Sia/covos * xai os dv BeXrf iv vplv ctrai TrpwTOS, 
co-rat irdvroiv 8ovA.os — But it is not so among you ; but whoever 
wishes to become great among you, shall be your servant; and 
whoever wishes to be first among you, shall be bond-servant of all. 

icrtv, is, instead of iarai, shall be, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* DL A 
most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Slv, instead of iav, after first os Tisch. Treg. 
WH. n BDL A 33, 69, 299. iv, instead of vp.Qv, before etvai irpGnos 
Treg. marg. WH. RV. n BC * L A Latt. Memph. ehcu irpdros, instead of 
yevt<r6cu irpuiT., Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L A Latt. Memph. 

o^x ovto) Se co-Ttv — but so it is not. This is not the state of 
things that obtains, as a matter of fact, among you as members of 
the kingdom of God. The ideal is the essential principle of that 
kingdom, /xc'yas ywivOai — to becotne great. There is such a 
thing as ambition, the desire for greatness, in the kingdom of 
God, but it is the exact opposite of what goes by that name. 
SiaKovos — servant. The word denotes the performer of services, 
without indicating his exact relation to the person served. omJAos 
— bond-servant. There is a climax in the statement. To be 
great requires service, to be first requires bond-service, and this 
SovXcta is to 7ravTGJv, all. Here is the paradox of the kingdom of 
God. Instead of being lords, its great ones become servants, and 
its chiefs the bond-servants of all. One has only to watch the 
progress and present condition of things, to see that this state of 
things is coming to pass, but that it is yet far from accomplish- 
ment ; and furthermore, that in this respect at least, the field is 
the world, and not the church. 

45. Kat yap — for also. The Son of Man himself is not exempt 
from this rule. His kingship is also that of service, and not that 
of lordship. He is the Head of humanity, and yet he serves men, 
and not men him. ov huxKovriOrjvai, d\\d StaKovrjcraL — not to be 
served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom in exchange for 
many. The vicarious idea is expressed here, but it is not strictly 

1 This is a Biblical word, and is not found in the N.T. outside of this and the 
parallel passage in Mt., making another strong proof of the interdependence of the 
written accounts. 


that his life takes the place of other lives that would have to be 
sacrificed otherwise in expiation of their sins. All that is required 
by the statement, not in the way of minimizing it, but to fill out 
its meaning, is that his life becomes the price by which men are 
freed from their bondage. The soldiers in the American civil 
war gave their lives as a Xvrpov for the slaves, and every martyr's 
death is a Xvrpov. There may be more than this involved in the 
death of the Redeemer, but more than this is not involved in his 
words here. In this, he carries his service of men to the utmost, 
and becomes their Head. 


46-52. In the course of his journeys in Judcea, Jesus comes 
to Jericho, and Bartimceus, a blind man, asks him to take 
pity on him. The crowd around Jesus seek to repel him, but 
Jesus calls him and heals him. The blind man follows 

This is the only visit of Jesus to Jericho. The connection of 
the narrative makes this a stage in the journey to Jerusalem, 
begun v. 32 , and ended in the next chapter. The cry of the blind 
man, Jesus, Son of David, is the first note of the Messianic 
acclaim with which Jesus enters the city. And his healing at 
this crisis brings Jesus as the wonder-worker freshly before the 
minds of the multitude, and raises still higher their excited 
Messianic hopes. 

46. kclI €K7ropevoix€vov avrov oltto Iepei^di — and as he was coming 
out from Jericho. Lk. says, as he was approaching Jericho, and 
in the account of Zacchseus which follows, that he entered, and 
passed through Jericho. Mk. says that they come to Jericho, and 
that this happened as he was coming out from Jericho. It breaks 
up the continuity of both accounts to try to reconcile them in this 
trivial detail, kcu ox^ov Ikclvov — and a considerable crowd. There 
is, probably, this deviation from the meaning great given to it in 
the EV. 1 6 vtos Tffuuou, BapTifxcuos, rv<j>\6<; ^poo-cuVr;?, 2 €Ka.0r]TO 7rapa 
tt)v 6S0V — the Son of Timceus, Bartimceus, a blind beggar, was 
sitting by the side of the road. 6 vlos rov Ti/Wov, the Son of 
Timceus, is a translation of Bartimaeus = ^lata "in ; but it is evi- 

1 This use of \ko.v6% in the sense of great, rather than sufficient, is characteristic 
of Lk. (Lk. and Acts). The only other instance is 1 Cor. n30. Mt. 2812 i s at 
least doubtful. 2 Trpoo-ou'-njs belongs to later Greek. Plutarch, Lucian. 

204 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [X. 46-51 

dently not introduced here for that reason. Bartimseus is the 
name, and Son of Timozus denotes the relation. There was prob- 
ably some reason for noting this relation, as that Timaeus was a 

Insert 6 before vibs Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCDLS A. Omit 6 before 
rv<p\bs Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDL A 124, Memph. Trpocratrrjs after 
Tv<p\bs, instead of irpoaaiTwv after bdbp, a blind beggar, instead of a blind 
man . . . begging, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A one ms. Lat. Vet. 

47. Kat aKoucras otl 'Itjctovs o Na^aoiyi/os co-rtv, rjpiaro Kpdfceiv ko.1 
Ae'yeiv, vie Aavei'8, 'Irjaov, ikirjcrov /xe — And having heard that it is 
Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry, and to say, thou Son of 
David, Jesus, have mercy on me. 

Nafapyvos, instead of Nafapaios, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BL A 1, 118, 
209, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. vie, instead of 6 vlbs, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
N BCLM marg. A. 

Jesus of Nazareth, and Son of David are both unfamiliar titles, 
the former occurring now for the first time since i 24 , and the latter 
only here. Jesus of Nazareth is intended by the multitude to 
identify him. Son of David is a distinctly Messianic title, the use 
of which here, however, we must not suppose is individual and 
peculiar. It reflects the sentiment of the multitude, who mean to 
make this a triumphal progress to Jerusalem, though as yet they 
are preserving a policy of silence. 1 

48. tva cnoym/jar) — that he keep si/ent. It does not seem prob- 
able that they would want to prevent the miracle. Rather, they 
wanted to enforce silence about this premature Son of David, 
which they meant to reserve for the entry into Jerusalem. 

49. (pitivrjcraTe olvtov — call him. 

(f>u)i>ri<raTe avrov, instead of avrbv tfMavrjdrjvai, that he be called, N BCL A 
7, 209, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Hard. marg. 

lyeipe — rise. 

eyeipe, instead of eyeipai, x ABCDLX TIT. 

50. aTrofia\iov to Ifidrtov — having thrown off his garment. The 
outer garment, or robe, is meant. di/aTr^S^o-as — having leaped 
up? Both these acts are introduced to show the man's eagerness. 

ava.Trr)dr)<ras, instead of dvaa-ras, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDLM marg. 
A Latt. Memph. Hard. marg. 

51. Kat ajroKpiOels avrco 6 'I^omi? et7r£i/, ri vol OeXeis Troiy(ru) ; — 
And Jesus answering said to him, What do you wish me to do for 
you.? 3 

elirev, instead of \4yei, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 115, mss. Lat. 
Vet. one ms. Vulg. Memph. 

1 See 12 35 . 2 A common Greek word, but not found elsewhere in N.T. 

3 See on v.35. 36. 


'Pa/3/Jowt, 1 Lva avafiXixl/o) 2 — Rabboni, that I may recover my 
sight. Rabboni is apparently a more dignified title than Rabbi. 

52. Kat evOvs avefiXeif/c, kclI rjKoXovOu auraJ iv rrj 68<j> 3 — And 
immediately he recovered his sight, and followed him in the way. 

curry, instead of rtp 'Irjaov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDLM marg. 
A Latt. Memph. Hard. marg. 


XI. l-ll. Jesus comes to Bethany, where he procures a colt t 
on which he rides into Jerusalem. The multitude strew 
their garments and layers of leaves in the road, and shout 
Hosanna, invoking blessings on the coming kingdom. Jesus 
goes immediately to the temple, and satisfying himself for 
the present with a look at things, goes out to Bethany for the 

Jesus has told his disciples that he is going to Jerusalem only 
to meet his fate, and be put to death by the authorities, and yet 
he enters it amidst the acclaims of the multitude, who hail him 
as the coming King. This acknowledgment, repelled before, he 
now accepts. But, the claim once made, he proceeds as before, 
with his merely spiritual work. The key to these apparent incon- 
sistences is to be found in the splendid self-consistency of Jesus' 
procedure, and in its absolute inconsistency with worldly ideas 
and policies. Jesus knew that the Messianic claim in Jerusalem 
meant death, and that death meant the ultimate establishment of 
the claim, not defeat. Every part of his life, but especially its end, 
means that he aimed to establish the ideal as the law of human 
life, and that he would use only absolutely spiritual means in the 
accomplishment of his end. 

Meantime, everything points to the fact that Jesus deliberately 
used the enthusiasm of the multitude for the purposes of his entry 
into Jerusalem, intending to make it the means of a public proc- 
lamation of his Messianic claim. That proclamation was neces- 

1 Apparently, there is a confusion of two Chaldee words in this title, pan and 
J2H, both of them meaning about the same, lord or chief. 

2 in composition has the sense of the Latin re. 

3 The distinction between the momentary action of the aor. and the continued 
action of the impf. is preserved in these verbs. 


sary, because men must understand definitely the issue that he 
made. The acceptance of him as King, and not merely as 
Prophet, was what he demanded. And in the events which fol- 
lowed, it immediately became apparent that the question thus 
raised was not only a question of his personal claim, but of the 
nature of his kingdom. The multitude who followed him thought 
that, with the announcement of the claim, the programme would 
change. But the unchanged programme meant that Jesus, just as 
he was, claimed kingship, and would be king only by spiritual 

1. Kat ore iyyit,ovcnv eis 'Iepovaro\vfxa, Kat eis Biy^avtav — And 
when they draw near to Jerusalem, and to Bethany. 

koX ets BrjOavLav, instead of els Br)d<payT} ko.1 BrjdavLav, Tisch.Treg. niarg. 
WH. niarg. D Latt. The shorter reading seems probable, the longer read- 
ing having crept into the text from Lk. 

Kat ets B^^avtiav — We have here a case of abbreviated expres- 
sion, which obstructs clearness. The exact statement is, that they 
approached Jerusalem, and had come on the way as far as Bethany 
on the other side of the Mount of Olives. Bethany is mentioned 
here for the first time in Mk. In fact, according to this account, 
Jesus is now approaching Jerusalem for the first time. And hence 
places enter into the account which have not appeared before. 
Bethany was a small village on the other side of the Mount of 
Olives, about fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem. In approaching it, 
therefore, they would be on the way towards the Mount, 7rpos to 

2. tt)v K<i)fi7}v rrjv KCLT€vavTi l vfxtov — the village that is over 
against you. Bethany is the village meant here, as Bethphage is 
the one designated in Mt. 21 1 . In both cases, the village named 
is the only one mentioned. The implication evidently is that the 
road did not pass through the village, but was off one side. 
7rwAov — a colt. Mt. specifies a she-ass and its colt, and as the 
ass was the more common beast used for domestic purposes, there 
is no doubt that the colt here was an ass's colt 2 e<£' ov ouSets ov-n-oy 
avdpwiroiv tKadujev — on which no one of men yet sat. Lk. also 
has these words. But they are extremely improbable in the mouth 
of Jesus. They evidently belong to the narrator, who very likely 
took a fact that he had discovered about the colt, and which had 
an undesigned significance, and made it a part of Jesus' design, 
an intentional effect in the pageant. There is no indication that 

1 Karivavn is not found in profane writers. In the N.T., it is found in the 
Synoptics, and in the epistles of Paul. 2 Mt. 21 2 . 


Jesus cared for the ceremonious trappings of an event. Such 
care belongs to homage, not to the person receiving it. On this 
demand of newness for sacred purposes, see Num. 19 2 , Deut. 21 3 , 
2 Sam. 6 3 . It is evidently the intention of the writers of the Gos- 
pels here to imply a supernatural knowledge on the part of Jesus. 

Insert ovttw before avdpdnruv Treg. WH. RV. ABL A mss. Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. After dvdpwirwv, Tisch. N C 13, 69, Egyptt. (Pesh.). iicddi<Tev, 
instead of /ce/cd0i/ce, Treg. marg. WH. RV. x BCL A. Xvaare avrbv koX, in- 
stead of XtiaapTes avrbv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCD Latt. Egyptt. 
(Syrr.). (ptpere, instead of dydyere, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL Latt. 
Egyptt. (Syrr.). 

3. 'O Kvpios avrov xpuav €\ei, Kai ev#vs avrov aiTOorriXKu 7raA.1v (S8e 

— the Master has need of it, and will send (sends) it here again 

Omit "On before 6 Kvpios Tisch. Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. B A 239, 
433» mss ' Lat. Vet. dirocT AXei, instead of airoareXei, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. and most authorities. Insert irdXiv, again, after diroaTiXXet. Tisch. 
Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n BC* DL A. 

6 Kvpios — the Master. This title was so frequently applied to 
Jesus by himself and others, that there is little reason to suppose 
that there is any special significance in its use here. It indicates 
in general his relation to his disciples, and not any special phase 
of that relation. It would not be used here, e.g., to indicate that 
he has assumed his Messianic position, since it is a title common 
to this with the time before, kox evOvs avrov dTroo-TcAAei iraXiv tSSe 

— and will send (sends) him here again immediately. With this 
insertion of again, these words make a part of Jesus' message to 
the owner of the animal, instead of his announcement to the dis- 
ciples of what the owner will do in response to the message. He 
promises to return the animal immediately. 

4. Kai airrjXOov, Kat evpov ttwXov ScSefxivov 7rpos (tt)v) Ovpav €7rt 
rov a/x<p68ov — And they departed, and found a colt tied at a (the) 
door upon the street outside. 

Kai dirriXOov, instead of dirTjXdov 5h, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A, one 
ms. Lat. Vet. Omit rov, the, before wQXou, colt, Treg. WH. RV. ABDLX 
Til Memph. Omit tt\v, the, before Ovpav, door, Treg. WH. BL A Egyptt. 

7rpos (rrjv) Ovpav €^o> €7rt rov ap.<p68ov — These details are evi- 
dently the report of an eyewitness. The first part, at the door 
outside, is easy of explanation. The better class of houses were 
built about an open court, from which a passageway under the house 
led to the street outside. It was at this outside opening to the 
street, that the colt was tied. But the d^^o'Sov is more difficult. 
Probably, it differs from oSov simply in denoting a roundabout 
road. The AV. where two ways met, confounds the prep. d/x</>t 


and aifxcfuo meaning both. 1 The village may have been built on 
such a rounding road, that lay off from the straight highway, and 
the narrator places this in the story of the event in his d/McpoSov. 
Such a descriptive touch is quite in Mk.'s manner. 

5. Tt 7roi£tT€ Avovtc? t. 7rtoA.ov ; — What are you doing, loosing 
the colt? This ri iroulre we use very frequently in asking the 
meaning of an action ; only we leave it by itself. What are you 
doing ? we say. It asks the question, what the act really is, the 
outward form of which appears in the participial clause. Ot oe 
dirav avrols, KaOios dirtv 6 'lr)<rov<s — And they told them, as Jesus 

eiirev, said, instead of evereiXarOf commanded, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
a BCL A i, 28, 124, 209, one ms. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 

6. Kal d(j>rJKav avrovs — and they permitted them, put no hinder- 
ance in their way. The expression is elliptical, the full statement 
including the thing permitted. 

7. Kat cf>€pOV(TlV TOV 7T(Jj\0V . . . , KCU C7n/?dA.A.OVO-lV aVTfji TOL IflOLTia 

avrCiv, Kal Ik6.6l(t€.v €7r' olvtov — And they bring the colt . . . , and 
put their garments on him, and he seated himself on him. 

(pipova-iv, instead of ijyayov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n c BL A. iiri^dWov- 
<riv, instead of iirtpaXov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDLA i, 28, 91, 201, 
299, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. ai/rbu, instead of cuJry after iir\ Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A. 

tol t/xdrta — the outer garments. On this form of royal homage, 
see 2 K. 9 13 . 

8. aAXot Sc o-Ti/?dSas Ko\pavT€<i e/c twv aypwv — and others layers 
of leaves, having cut them out of the fields. ori/Jdoas is the object 
of the preceding lorpoxrav. 

o-rtjSdSas, instead of (r-rot/SdSas, 2 Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. K BDEGHKL 
MU All. K6\fsavT€s, instead of Zkotttov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n B(C) 
L A, Theb. Aypiov, instead of StvSpuv, trees, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n B 
(C)L A Theb. Omit last clause of v., same authorities. 

o-Ti/?ds is any layer of leaves, twigs, rushes, and the like, used 
for bedding, or to make a road easy of travel. This throwing 
their garments on the horse, and strewing the road with garments 
and layers of leaves, is all in the way of smoothing the road as a 
part of the homage rendered. 

9. €/<pa£ov, 'tlo-avvd — cried Hosanna. 

Omit Xeyovres, saying, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 115, mss. Lat. 
Vet. Egyptt. 

'Oo-awd — Hosanna? This cry is not an acclamation, but a 
prayer, meaning, save now, and it means either that Jehovah 

1 Vulg. bivium. 

" o-Tij3aSas is the proper form. o-Toi/3a5as is a case of mis-spelling. 
3 The full form of the original is Kpijplhn, the Hiph. of j?tf>, with the suffixed 
particle nj = ntw. 


shall be propitious to some one else, conspicuous in the scene, or 
in connection with him, to the people uttering the cry. In the 
Ps. 1 1 8 2526 from which this invocation is taken, it is probably a 
prayer that Jehovah will be propitious to his people. While in 
Mt. 2 1 9 , where it reads, 'Clcrawa t. viui Aavei'8 — be propitious now 
to the Son of David, the prayer is for the one whom the multitude 
recognize as the coming Messiah. Probably, here it is the prayer 
of the people that the expected salvation may be accomplished 
now. ev\oyrjfJL€vo<; 6 ep^o/xei/os iv 6v6fx. Kvp. — Blessed is he that 
cometh in the name of the Lord. It is a question of feeling, 
whether iarl or Ivtw is to be supplied here ; whether it invokes a 
blessing on the coming king and his kingdom, or pronounces him 
blessed. Either is grammatically allowable. On the whole, I 
incline to the latter view. See RV. Kvptov is a translation of 
m.T, Yahweh, in Ps. 118 26 , from which all this acclaim is taken. 
iv ovo/x. Kvptov, in the name of the Lord, means that the kingdom 
of the Messiah is to be a vicegerency, in which the Messiah rep- 
resents and takes the place of Jehovah. 

10. ev\oyr)fJLevr) rj ip)(OfX€vr) /3a<ri\cia tov 7rarpo? rf/xiov AavciS — 
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David. The coming 
kingdom represents it as already on the way, and drawing near. 
It is no longer in a postponed and indefinite future, but in sight. 
It is represented as the kingdom of David, because the promise 
of it was made to him as a man after God's own heart, and the 
king was to be in his line and to succeed to his spirit. The 
kingdom was to be a reproduction, after a long collapse, of the 
splendors of the Davidic kingdom. 1 

Omit iv ovbfxaTL Kvptov, in the name of the Lord, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BCDLU A 1, 13, 69, 115, 124, 209, 238, 346, Latt. Egyptt. Pesh. 

'Qaavva iv rots vvjl<ttoi<; — Hosanna in the highest (places} . to. 
vif/io-ra. is a translation of a Heb. word for heaven? This addition 
indicates that Hosanna is not here a mere acclaim, a sort of 
Hurrah ! It is a prayer for God to save them in the highest 
places, where he dwells. 

This entry into Jerusalem, with its accompaniments of shout- 
ing multitudes and spontaneous homage, can have only one mean- 
ing in our Lord's life. It is his public announcement of himself 
as the Messiah, or rather his public acceptance of the title that 
his disciples had been so long anxious to thrust upon him. And 
yet, after it, his life lapses again into its quiet ways, and he 

1 Messianic prophecy proper starts with the promise of the perpetuity of the 
kingdom in the Davidic line. 2 Sam. 78- 16 Zech. 12 10 13. One of the Rabbinical 
titles of the Messiah was David. 

a The Heb. word is anc, D'Q'nn. Job 1619, i s . 5? i5 i LXX. 


becomes once more the teacher and benefactor. And so, the 
distinct claim to be a king is followed immediately by the revolu- 
tionizing of the whole idea of kingship. But then, this is only in 
accordance with what he has already said to his disciples who 
wished to occupy the places in the kingdom next to the king. 
" He who desires to be first, let him be least and servant of all." 
His teaching and life needed the distinct announcement of his 
Messianic claim in order that men might understand that this is 
what is meant by the claim to be king of men. 

11. Kat elcrrjXOev as 'Jepoaokv/xa, ets to Upov — And he entered 
into Jerusalem, into the temple. 

Omit 6 'It/o-ous, koX before ets to iepbv Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 
Lat. Vet. Memph. 

Jesus makes his way immediately, not only into the Holy City, 
but into the Holy Place, where his claim to lordship over the 
place can be put to the test. 

Kat 7repi/3Aei//a/>i€i>os iravTa, 6if/e 77877 ttJs wpas — And having looked 
round upon all things, the hour being already late. 

6\pt, instead of o^t'as, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. n CL A. 

This look took in those things which were to receive the next 
morning so sharp attention from him, but as the hour was already 
so late, he went out to Bethany. This differs distinctly from Mt., 
who places the cleansing of the temple immediately after the 
entrance into the city, and mentions the cursing of the fig tree as 
on the morning after the cleansing. This is the first time that 
Bethany appears in the Synoptical narrative, but the appearance is 
of such a kind as to imply a previous history, or rather a previous 
appearance of the place in the life of our Lord. John gives us 
the clue to Jesus' freedom of the place in the story of the raising 
of Lazarus, but at the same time, he places the intimacy further 
back by calling Lazarus the one whom Jesus loved. 


12-14. Jesus leaves Bethany the next morning, and on his 
way to Jerusalem, he sees a Jig tree, whose leaves give 
promise of fruit. But when he comes to it, he finds only 
leaves. He dooms the tree to peipetual fricitlessness. 


12. Kat rrj i-n-avpiov ' . . . c7retrao-e 2 — And on the morrow . . . 
he became hungry. 

Jesus' leaving Bethany in the morning and coming to Jerusalem 
indicates his habit during this last week. His place of action 
during the day was Jerusalem, his place of rest at night was 

13. Kat t8a>i/ (tvktjv cwro (jMKpoOcv 3 — and having seen a fig tree at 
a distance. 

Insert airb before p.a.Kp6dev Tisch. Treg. WH. RV.,and most authorities. 

€X<>v(rav <f>v\\a — having leaves. This presence of leaves con- 
stituted the false appearance of the tree, as on the fig tree these 
are the sign of fruit, ei dpa tl evprjaec — (to see) whether then he 
will find anything on it. 4 apa is illative, and means here, "since 
he saw leaves, whether the fruit that accompanies leaves was 
there." 5 6 yap xatpos ovk rjv crvKoiv — for the season was not that 
of figs. This gives the reason why there were no figs, in spite of 
the presence of leaves. It was about April, whereas the season of 
figs was not until June for the very early kind, or August for the 
ordinary crop. 

6 yap Kaipbs ovk 7jv <tvk<jjp, instead of ov yap r\v Kaipbs cvkuv, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. x BC * L A Memph. Pesh. 

14. Kat d7roK/oi0ets direv airy — And answering, he said to it. 

Omit 6 'Itf(Tovs before eiirev Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCDL A I, 33, 91, 
124, 238, 346 mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

Mr/KeVt et? rbv atwva Ik crov prjSels Kap-rrov <£ayot — The position 
of the words and the double negative make this curse weighty. 
The reason of it is to be found in the false pretence of leaves 
without fruit on a tree in which leaves are a sign of fruit. The 
apparent unreason is in cursing a fig tree for anything. The prin- 
ciple that you must not only judge a person by his acts, but some- 
times judge his acts by the person, applies here. The act appears 
wanton and petulant, but what we know of Jesus warrants us in 
setting aside this appearance. Jesus was on the eve of spiritual 
conflict with a nation whose prime and patent fault was hypocrisy 
or false pretence, and here he finds a tree guilty of the same 

1 rrj enavpiov — this use of enavpiov as a single word is Biblical. Properly, it is 
eV avpiov, which means on the morrow by itself. The art. is out of place therefore, 
much as if we should say, on the to-morrow. If anywhere, it belongs between in 
and avpiov. See Lk. io 35 Acts 4 s . 

2 The aor. denotes the entrance upon the state denoted by the vb. Burton, 41. 

3 ixa.Kp60ev is itself late, and the prep, redundant, as the adv. itself means from a 
distance. Win. 65, 2. 

4 On the mood of indirect questions, see Burton, 341 (d), 343. 
6 See Win. 53, 8 a. 

212 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XI. 14-16 

thing. It gives him his opportunity, without hurting anybody, to 
sit in judgment on the fault. He does not complete the parable 
by pointing out the application, but leaves this, as he does his 
spoken parables, to suggest its own meaning, and so to force men 
to think. Such acted parables were not without precedent among 
the Jews. See Hos. i 1-3 John 4 6-11 Mt. 13 10 " 15 . And in Jesus' own 
teaching, the recourse to enigmatical methods that should force 
men to think, was not uncommon. 


15-18. On arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus goes to the temple 
again, and finds the customary traffic in animals for the 
Passover sacrifices, and in small change for the purposes of 
this traffic, going on. Jesus drives out the traffickers, and 
overturns their tables and chairs. 

15. koli tlo-eXOuiv €19 to lepov rjpiaro eKfiaWew tovs TruXovvras Kal 
rovs ayopd£ovTa<; — and having entered into the temple, he began to 
cast out those selling and those buying} 

Omit 6 'lr)<rovs after ci<re\0&v Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A I, 33, 
91, 124, 238, 346 mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Insert roiis before dyopd- 
frvras Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCKLMNU II. 

This buying and selling went on in the Court of the Temple, 
and the merchandise consisted of the animals, incense, oil, and 
other things required for sacrifice, the demand for which was very 
great at the time of the annual feasts, twv koWv/Slo-tw — this is a 
word found in the N.T. only in these accounts of the cleansing of 
the Temple. The word, like its companion Kep/xarto-Tr;?, denotes 
one who changed money for the convenience of the buyers and 
sellers, of course for a consideration — a dealer in small coin. 
It is supposed by some that these money-changers exchanged for 
the foreign coin brought by the pilgrims the shekel in which alone 
the Temple tax could be paid. But the words used both denote 
dealers in small coins, which is more consonant with the above 
explanation. The doves were the offering of the poor, who were 
not able to offer sheep and oxen. 2 

16. Kal ovk rjcptev 3 tva tis SieveyKr) ctkcvos 81a. tov lepov — and 
would not allow any one to carry a vessel through the temple} 

1 There is no sufficient reason for emphasizing the beginning of the act in this 
case. It belongs to the Heb. idiom of the writer. 

2 Lev. 5? 126-8 1514- 29 Num. 6". 

3 See on I 34 , for form ^iev. 

4 On this use of Iva with subj., see Win. 44, 8. Burton, 210. 


o-Kevos — vessel Used generally for utensils or gear of any 
kind, even the sails of vessels. The outer Court, and especially 
the Court of the Gentiles, where this traffic went on, was looked 
on as a kind of common ground which men might use as a short 
cut, carrying across it various o-kcvt]. 

17. Kal coYoW/cc, teal cAcycv avroh — and he taught and said to 

Kal eXeyev, instead of X^ywv, saying, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCL A 6, 

13, 69, 346, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. 

oikos 7T0oo-evx>7S l Tra<n rots tOveo-iv — a house of prayer for all 
nations. The quotation is from Is. 56*, a passage which predicts 
the admission of strangers who worship God, as well as Jews, to 
the privileges of the Temple. The rebuke is specific therefore, 
denouncing not only the misuse of the Temple, but of that part 
which made it the seat of a universal worship. It was the Court 
of the Gentiles which they had thought just good enough for these 
debased uses. o-rrrjXcuov Xrjo-rw — a cave of robbers, not thieves. 
These words are quoted from Jer. 7 11 . The context in Jer. shows 
that the name is given there not because of the desecrating uses 
to which the Temple was put, but because of the character of 
those who used it. Their use of the Temple was legitimate, but 
they themselves defiled it by their character and conduct outside. 
Here, on the contrary, it is their illegitimate use of the Temple 
which is condemned. The use of this term robbers by our Lord 
adds an unexpected element to the denunciation of their practice. 
Evidently trade as such desecrates the Temple, making its pre- 
cincts and sacrifices the place and occasion of personal gain. It 
is the incongruous and unhallowed mixture of God and mammon 
that Jesus elsewhere condemns. But when he calls it robbery, it 
is evident he means more than the condemnation of trade in itself 
in the Temple precincts. And yet, we have no reason to suppose 
that there was anything extraordinary in this traffic. Jesus would 
need only to see the opposition of all actual trade in principle to 
the Golden Rule, to condemn it in this strong language, when it 
invaded the courts of the Temple. It is the principle of trade to 
pursue personal advantage alone, and leave the other man to pur- 
sue his interests, in other words, competition, which makes trade 

ireiroi-fiKaTe, instead of iiroi^<rare, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BL A. 

This was an exercise of Messianic authority on the part of 
Jesus ; but it did not transcend his rule of purely spiritual king- 
ship, since the power that he used was simply that of his personal 

1 irpoo-evxrjs — It is significant of the changes in the language, that this word is 
not found in the classics, and that the good Greek word evxv is found in the N.T. 
but once. 

214 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XL 18, 19 

ascendency. It was an impressive example of the authority of 
truth and goodness. Men are easily overawed by the indigna- 
tions of righteousness. We should expect such an access of 
authority in the action and speech of Jesus after the announce- 
ment of his Messianic claim, but the element of force, which is 
the idea of government, is left out. 

18. ot apxtepeis k. ol ypapfxarels — the chief priests and the 
scribes. These were the constituted authorities, who had licensed 
this desecration of the Temple. They sold these rights to the 
traders, and they resented this invasion of their constituted rights. 
Together, they constituted the main body of the Sanhedrim. 1 The 
overthrow of evil everywhere, which was the evident mission of 
this daring innovator, menaced them. 

ot d/5%ie/3eis koX ol ypafifxareis, instead of the reverse order, x ABCDKL 
All Latt. Memph. Pesh. irws an o\4<tu}<tip, how they may destroy, instead 
of 7rws airo\to-ov<riv, how they shall destroy, Tisch. Treg. WH. and most 

i<f>o/3ovvTO yap avrov ' 7ras yap 6 o^Xo? i£en\r](T(j£TO tiri rrj OLdaxfj 
avrov 3 — for they were afraid of him ; for all the multitude was 
amazed at his teaching. 

7ras 7ap, instead of &Vi 7ras, because all, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC A 
i, 13, 28, 69, 346, Memph. 

The power that Jesus had to carry the multitude with him, so 
that they stood amazed at the strength and authority of his teach- 
ing, made the rulers fear him. rrj StSa^J — his teaching. Doctrine 
is a poor translation, first because it omits everything belonging to 
the manner, and secondly, because it has acquired a technical 
meaning that does not belong to SiSax^. 


19-26. The morning of the third day, as they are passing 
by, they see the fig tree which Jesus had cursed, withered. 
Jesus cotmnends faith to them, as able to remove not only 
trees, but mountains. Mk. introduces here the irrelevant 
matter of forgiveness as the condition of answer to prayer. 

19. K. orav 6i//e iyivero — And whenever it came to be evening. 
This may be taken in two ways, either of which involves an irregu- 
larity. (1) It may be, And whenever evening came (R.V.), every 

1 See on 8 81 . 2 See Win. 33 b, for this use of ini. 3 See on i 22 . 


evening; involving the irregularity of the aor. for the impf. Or 
(2) it may be, And when it came to be evening, referring to a single 
evening, involving the irregularity of orav for 6Ve. The latter use 
is found in Byzantine writers. See Win. 42 s . But in judging an 
irregular style like this, the anomalous use of the aor. seems more 
easily accountable than that of the more striking 6Yav. Moreover, 
the translation whenever is more accordant with the impf. in the 
principal clause. 

8rav, instead of 6re, when, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCKL An* 28, 33. 
^eiro peOovro, they would go, instead of i^eiropeveTo, he would go, Treg. 
WH. RV. marg. ABKM* All 124, two mss. Lat. Vet. Pesh. Hard. marg. 

21. rjv KaTrjpda-o) — which you cursed} 

22. Kal &7roKpideU 6 'lycrovs Aeyet avrols, 'E^erc ttlcttlv ©eov 2 — 
and answering, Jesus says to them, Have faith in God. 

Insert 6 before 'Irjaovs Tisch. Treg. WH. and most authorities. 

Jesus answers here to the wonder expressed in Peter's statement, 
pointing out the source of the wonderful thing, and showing how 
they too may attain the same power, tw 6pu tovtu> — this moun- 
tain. Primarily, this would be the Mount of Olives, which was in 
their sight all the way. Jesus' statement is climacteric. The faith 
in God by which he has dried up this tree can remove mountains 
too, and, for that matter, can accomplish all things. But in the 
language of Jesus, who repudiated all mere thaumaturgic use of 
miraculous power, moving a mountain is not to be taken literally, 
but stands for any incredible thing, as stupendous as such mov- 
ing, but not so out of line with the miracles to which Jesus con- 
fined himself. It is enough to say that neither Jesus nor his 
disciples ever removed mountains, except metaphorically. 

Kal firj huxKpiOrj iv rrj KapSia avrov, 3 aXXa. Tna-Tcvrj on o AaXct 
yiWcu, lo-rat olvtu 5 — and does not doubt in his heart, but believes 
that what he speaks comes to pass, it will come to him. 

Omit yap, for, at the beginning of this v. Tisch. (Treg). WH. RV. n 
BDN 1, 28, 51, 106, 124, 157, 225, 251, Latt. Pesh. irKTrevrj, instead of 
maTevo-7}, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. N BL A. 0, instead of a, before 
XaXe?, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BLN A 33, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 
Pesh. XoXet, speaks, instead of \tyei, says, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BLN 
A two mss. Lat. Vet. Omit eav etiry, whatever he says, after ecrrai curry, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A I, 28, 209, 346, three mss. Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. Memph. 

1 In earlier Greek, Karapiop-aL takes the dat. Win. 32, 1 b, 0. Win., however, 
fails to note the irregularity. 2 @ €0 z j s Q bj. gen. Win. 30, 1. 

3 StaKpiQrj ev rjj KapSia — Doubt is a Biblical sense of Sia^pi'vo^ou, but comes natur- 
ally from the proper meaning, to be divided. This is a good example of the use of 
KapSia to denote the seat of the intellect rather than the affections. On the evil of 
doubt, see Jas. 16. 

4 The aor. SiaKpteij and pres. niarevri are to be discriminated something in this 
way — does not entertain a doubt, but holds fast to his faith. 

5 See Thay.-Grm. Lex. zip.; IV. e. 

2l6 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XL 24, 25 

24. Sia tovto — on this account, referring to what he has just 
said of the efficacy of faith. He generalizes from the extreme 
case of the mountain, iravra ocra Trpocrevx^crOe k. cutcio-06, Tnarevcre 
on iXafiere — all things whatever ye pray and ask for, believe that 
you received them. The aor. is a rhetorical exaggeration of the 
immediateness of the answer : it antedates even the prayer in the 
mind of the petitioner. 

irpoaeiJX^Oe /cat, instead of ov irpoaevxbuevoi, pray and ask, instead of 
praying ask, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A mss. Lat. Vet. Pesh. i\d- 
/3ere, instead of Xa^dvere, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A Memph. 

It is noticeable that here, and in the case of the demoniac fol- 
lowing the Transfiguration, Jesus seeks to turn the thought of the 
disciples to faith, as a matter of dependence on God, and to the 
absoluteness of the power thus invoked by them. If we add to 
this the desire to impress on them the reality of prayer as a 
means of securing for themselves the exercise of that power, we 
shall have the substance of Jesus' teaching on the subject. The 
power that we invoke is not an impersonal cause, that grinds out 
its results with the absoluteness of a machine, but a Person whose 
limitless power is available for him who fulfils the conditions im- 
plied in faith. 

25. Kat otclv arrJKere l 7rpo(T€vxofitvoi, acpUre — And whenever you 
stand praying, forgive. 

erf/cere, instead of ctt^™, Tisch. Treg. WH. ACDHLM 2 VX I, 124, 
etc. The subj. is an apparent emendation. Omit v. 26 Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. N BLS A 2, 27, 63, 64, 121, 157, 258, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. edd. 

This injunction to forgive can be joined logically with the 
injunction about faith in prayer, since the Divine forgiveness of 
sins, of which it is the condition, is itself the condition of the 
Divine favor, without which answer to prayer becomes impossible. 
But it is, notwithstanding, inapposite and diverting here, where 
the subject is not prayer, but faith in God, prayer being adduced 
as an instance of the places in which faith is needed. It is found 
in its proper place in the discourse on prayer, Mt. 6 14 sq. More- 
over, it is still further limited here, being placed in connection 
with the special prayer for forgiveness, and not with prayer in 
general, which removes it still further from the general subject. 
This limitation of the Divine forgiveness is not as if God limited 
himself by the imperfections of our human conduct. But forgive- 
ness is a reciprocal act. In its very nature, it cannot act freely, 
but is conditioned on the state of mind of the offender. And the 

1 On the use of orav with the ind. see Win. 42, 5 ; Burton, 309 c. On the atti- 
tude in prayer, see Mt. 6 5 Lk. 18 11 . 


unforgiving spirit is specially alien to that state of mind. It 
shows the offender to be lacking in the proper feeling about sin 
and forgiveness, which can alone warrant his asking forgiveness. 
This is an important text in the discussion of justification by faith. 


27-33. On Jesus' return to the city, he comes again to the 
temple ; where the representatives of the Sanhedrim question 
him as to his authority to cleanse the temple. Jesus an- 
swers them with a counter-question, whether John's baptism 
was human or divine in its origin, which will test their 
authority to decide such questions. This puts them in a 
dilemma, as they had discredited John, making it necessary 
for them either to sacrifice co7tsistency or to put themselves 
out of favor with the people, who believed in John. They 
are unable to answer, and so Jesus refuses to recognize their 
authority to sit in judgment on him, and remains silent. 

27. 7rp€(r/3vT€poL — elders. The word denotes the other mem- 
bers of the Sanhedrim, outside of the chief priests and scribes. 
It is the general word for a member of that council. The whole 
expression means the chief priests and scribes and other members 
of the Sanhedrim} 

Kai ZXcyov avrCi — and said to him, 

%\eyov, instead of\£yovctv, say, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A I, 209, 
mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

28. 'Ei/ Troiae$ov<Tia. — By what kind of authority? It is more 
specific than simply what authority. They knew that Jesus 
claimed a certain kind of authority, but it seemed to them just 
the vague and uncertain thing that personal, as distinguished from 
official authority, always seems to the members of a hierarchy. 
ravra 7rotcis ; — do you do these things ? things, such as the cleans- 
ing of the temple, which took place only the day before, f} rts 
rrot t. c£ov(TLav ravrrjv ISojkcv, Iva ravra irotrjs ; 3 — or who gave you 
this authority, to do these things t 

ri, instead of teal, and, before tis, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. n BL A 
124, Memph. Hard. marg. 

1 Schurer N. Zg. II. I. § 23, III. 

2 On the instrumental use of ev, see Win. 48, 3 d. 

a On the use of i^a with subj., for the inf., see Win. 44. 8. Burton 216 (a), 

2l8 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XI. 28-32 

The second question, who gave thee this authority ? is different 
in form, but substantially the same. The idea of a divine au- 
thority, communicated directly to the man by inward suggestion, 
and showing its warrant simply in his personal quality, was outside 
the narrow range of men who recognized only external authority. 

29. 'O Se 'Irjaovs e?7rev avrois, 'ETrepwrr/o-to lyxas era Xoyov — And 
Jesus said to them, I will ask you one question {word, literally) . 

Omit a-rroKpidds, answering, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCL A 33, two 
mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. Omit Kayk, I also, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
BCL A, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

30. To fiaTTTLa-fAa Ttoavvov, e£ ovpavov rjV, 7} e£ dv0pa>7rwv ; — Was 
the baptism of John from heaven, or from men ? This question 
of Jesus was not meeting their question with another harder one, 
as if he were matching his wits against theirs. But the question 
is on the same line as theirs, and is intended to show whether they 
have the same standards as he for testing the question of Divine 
authority. It is as if he had asked, How do you judge of such 
things? If Divine authority is communicated externally and 
through regular channels in your judgment, I have no such cre- 
dentials. But if it comes inwardly and is attested by its fruits in 
your opinion, then you are in a condition to judge fairly of my 
authority. The case of John is a test of this fitness to judge the 
matter of Divine authority. His authority came out of the clouds, 
so to speak, having only an inward, not an external warrant ; and 
his influence was owing to his restoration of the spiritual note in a 
fossilized, external religion. Worshippers of the external and 
regular see in this the mark of subjectivity, and self-constituted 
authority, and reject it, and the hierarchy seek to destroy it, 
whether in John, or Jesus, or Paul. Recognition of it on the part 
of the scribes and chief priests would have shown their fitness to 
judge the claim of Jesus. 

31. Kat $u\oyi£ovTo 7rpos cavrovs, XeyovTcs — And they deliber- 
ated among themselves, saying. 

8ie\oyL£ovTO, instead of eXoylfovro, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x <» BCDGK 
LM An. 

Atari ow ovk eVio-Tevo-aTc avrw ; — Why then did you not believe 
him ? On this rejection of John by the rulers, see Mt. 3 7 sq. n 18 

J-5 35 - 

32. aXXa €i7rw/ACv, E£ avOpunr^v ; e<po/3ovvTO tov Xaov. — but shall 
we say, From men ? they feared the people} 

Omit eav, if, before etirwfxev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x ABCL A 33. 

1 The structure here is very rugged, and without the excuse, or the capacity for 
hiding defects that belongs to a long sentence. Having started with a question, the 
only way to state the conclusion is to include it in the question, e.g. Shall we say, 
from men, and so bring upon us the dislike of the people? Instead of which the 
writer proceeds with a statement in his own words. Win. 63, II. 2. 60, 9. 


Lk. says, the people will stone us} Herod seems to have had 
the same wholesome fear of John's popularity. 2 airavTzs yap elxov 
ovt<j)<; tov 'I(oavv7/v, on 7rpo<f>^Tr)<; rjv — for all verily held John to be 
a prophet? A prophet is in Greek an interpreter of oracles, in 
the Biblical language a speaker of Divine oracles, an inspired 
man. This dilemma of the authorities was owing to the fact that 
the case cited by Jesus was one in which their verdict did not 
agree with the popular verdict. The authority of John was 
approved by the people, and disallowed by them, and the popular 
feeling was too strong about it for them to defy. 

ivrm 8tl, instead of Sri 5j/twj, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n° BCL 13, 69, 
346. A 8vt(i)s cJs trpo<p^T7jv. 

33. Kai 6 'lr)o~ov<; Ae'yei avrois, OuSe 4 iyio \tyai vpuv iv troia. k^ovcrta 
rearm 7rotw — And Jesus says to them, Neither do I tell you by what 
authority I do these things. 

Omit d-n-oKptdels, answering, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCLN TA 33, 
mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 

We must remember just what is involved in this refusal. These 
were the constituted authorities in both civil and religious matters, 
and Jesus' refusal to submit his claim to them is a denial of their 
authority. He refuses because they have confessed their inability 
to judge a precisely similar case, which involved an abdication of 
their authority. It is well to carry this in mind in considering 
Jesus' silence at his trial. 


12. 1-12. Jesus, having denied the authority of the rulers, 
proceeds to show them in a parable the unfaithfulness to 
their trust which has lost for them their authority. The 
story is that of a vineyard let out on shares to cultivators, 
who maltreat the servants sent by the owner to collect his 
share, and finally kill his son, and whom the owner de- 
stroys, and turns over the vineyard to others. He also cites 
the proverb of the stone rejected by the builders which 
becomes the corner stone. The rulers see that the parable 
is aimed at them, but fear of the multitude holds them in 
check for the present. 

1 Lk. 2o«. 2 Mt. i 4 s. 

3 On the attraction of 'iwiwrj^ from the subordinate to the principal clause, see 
Win. 66, 5 a. 

4 On the use of ovU without a preceding negative, see Win. 55, 6, 2. 


1. Kat rjpiaro avTots iv 7rapa/8oAats AaAeii/ — And he began to 
say to them in parables. 

XaXeiv, instead of \tyetv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BGL A I, 13, 69, 118, 
124, 346, mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. Pesh. Hard. marg. 

auVois evidently refers to the representatives of the Sanhedrim, 
the parable being a continuation of Jesus' conversation with them. 1 
Mt. says that the chief priests and the Pharisees knew that the 
parable was directed at them ; but he also represents Jesus as say- 
ing that the kingdom is to be taken from them, and given to a 
nation producing its fruits. 2 But this confusion of rulers and peo- 
ple must not obscure the plain fact that in Mt. the parable is 
against the rulers. Lk. says that the parable was spoken to the 
people, but that the rulers knew that it was spoken against them, 
two things that are not at all inconsistent. 3 iv 7rapa(3o\au<; — in 
parables. This use of the plural indicates that Mk. had other 
parables in mind, though he gives only one. Mt. gives three, all 
bearing on the same general subject. Mk. states the general fact 
of teaching in parables, and selects one from the rest. This is one 
of the facts which seem to indicate that Mk. had the same collec- 
tion of the teachings of Jesus as Mt. and Lk. to draw upon, viz. the 
Logia. 'A/A7T£A.(ova av0p<x)7ros i<pvTcv<rev — A man planted a vine- 
yard. This figure of the vineyard is taken from Is. 5 12 . Even 
the details are reproduced. In the LXX we find <ppayp.6v -n-epu- 
Or)Ka . . . (oKoBo/xyjcra irvpyov . . . TrpoXrjviov wpv£a. 

<ppayp,6v — is any kind of fence, or wall, that separates lands 
from each other. vTroX-qviov — is the receptacle for the juice of 
the grapes, placed under the X-qvoq, or winepress, in which the 
grapes were trodden. 4 irvpyov — is the tower from which the 
watchman overlooked the vineyard. It was also used as a lodge 
for the keeper of the vineyard, yempyols — means tillers or culti- 
vators. i&Sero 5 — d7re8?7/A770-e — went abroad. Far country, AV. 
is an exaggeration. 

c&dero, instead of -5oro, Tisch. WH. n AB* CKL. 

2. to! Kcupcp — at the season, at the proper time. As this vine- 
yard was equipped with a winepress, this would not be at the 
grape harvest, but any time following the winemaking. Xdfir) oVo 
t. Kapniav — The vineyard was let out on shares, the owner receiv- 
ing a certain part of the product. 

tu>v KapirQv, instead of rod Kapirov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCLN A 
33, 433, three mss. Lat. Vet. Pesh. 

1 See Il33 i 2 12. 2 Mt. 21*3- « 3 Lk. 208- 19. 

4 AV. wine-fat. Fat is an old English word for vat. KM., pit for the -winepress. 

5 This vb. is common in Grk., but occurs in N.T. only in this parable in the 
Synoptics. The irregular form, e£e'5ero for fioro, is also repeated. 


3. Kat Aa/SoVres avrov ZSeipav * — And they took {hint) , and beat 

koi, instead of oi 3£, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 33, mss. Lat. Vet- 

4. Ka.Ko.vov iKe<f>a,\iu)(rav 2 Kat rJTLfuurav — and that one they beat 
about the head, and insulted. 

Omit \i6o^o\rj(ravT€s, having stoned, before iKccpaKloxrap, Tisch. Treg 
WH. RV. n BDL A I, 28, 33, 91, 118, 299, Latt. Egyptt. tKtcpakiwaav, 
instead of -aluvav, Tisch. WH. RV. N BL. ^Tifxaaap, instead of aWo-rei- 
Xav^vov, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. n BL 33, Latt. Egyptt. tJW^ti- 
<rav Treg. RV. D. 

5. Kat aAAov d?T€OT€iAe — And he sent another. 

Omit irdXip, again, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 33, mss. Lat. Vet. 
Egyptt. ous before fdv instead of rovs, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BDL A 1, 33, 
and before 5£ same except D. 

Kat ttoAAovs aAAov?, ou? uev Sepovrcs, ovs Se SjroKTevvovTeq — and 
many others {they maltreated), beating some, and killing some. 
The verb to be supplied here has to be taken from the general 
statement of the treatment of the messengers by the cultivators 
of the vineyard, as the participles must agree with ot yewp-yot 
understood, and denote the several kinds of maltreatment. 

There is no doubt that Jesus has in mind here the treatment of 
the prophets by the rulers and people, of which there is frequent 
mention by the O.T. writers. 3 The parable is thus not an analogy, 
but an allegory. 

6. *Eti era etx ev > v,,ov o.yo.Trr)TOv ' d?rcoTeiAe avrov lo")(arov 7r/oos 
avTovs — Still {after losing all these), he had one {other to send), a 
beloved son : he sent him last to them. Ivrpairrjo-ovTai rbv vlov fiov 
— they will respect my Son. 4 The Son in the allegory represents 
Jesus himself. The nation, which had rejected God's servants, 
the prophets, will finally put to death the Son himself, the 
Messianic King. 

el X ev vibv, instead of vibv €x«v, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC 2 L A 33, 
Hard. (Pesh.). Omit avrov his after dyainjT6p, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n 
BCDL A mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. Vulg. Pesh. Omit /ecu after airt<rTet\e 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BLX 2 A 13, one ms. Lat. Vet. Pesh. 

1 e'Seipav means they fiayed him, literally. This modified meaning, they beat him, 
does not belong to the best usage, though it is found sometimes from Aristophanes 

2 e*e</>aA<Wai> is evidently a corrupt form of eice<}>a.\aiu><Tap , and that word is treated 
as if it came from Ke<f>a\ri, instead of xe^iAaio*'. Properly, it means to bring under 
heads, to summarize, but here, apparently, to wound in the head. It occurs only 
here in the N.T. Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

3 2 Chr. 3 6i5. ic Neh. 926 Jer. 25^-7. 

4 On the use of the ace, instead of the regular dat., see Win. 32, 1 b, a. 


8. Ka.i ££zf3a\ov avrov t£b> rov d/x7T€Aoivo5 ! — and threw him out 
of the vineyard. They put this indignity on his body, as this fol- 
lowed the killing. 

Insert airov after 4&pa\ov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ABCDMN Til mss. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. Syrr. 

9. Tt Troirjcrci 6 Kvpios rov d/x,7rcAa>vos ; — What will the master of 
the vineyard do ? 

Omit odv, then, after rl, Tisch. WH. BL one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

foevo-erai Kal a7roAeW — he will come and destroy. According 
to Mt. 2 1 41 , Jesus drew this answer from the chief priests and 
scribes themselves. 

10. OvSe 2 rr]v ypa(j>r)v iravr-qv dviyvoire ; — And did you not read 
this Scripture?* 

In the original, this stone, rejected by the builders, but become 
the head of the corner, is Israel itself, rejected by the nations, 
defeated and exiled, but destined by God for the chief place 
among them all. The Psalm was sung probably after the return 
from the exile, when everything indicates that the hopes of the 
nation were raised to the highest pitch ; when it seemed as if God 
was taking the first step towards the aggrandizement of the chosen 

iyevrj$r} eis 4 Ke<f)a\r)v ywvias 5 — became the head of the corner y 
denoting the coiner stone, which binds together the two sides of 
the building, and so becomes architecturally the most important 
stone in the structure. The story that there was a stone in the 
building of the Temple which had such a history, is unnecessary 
to account for so natural a metaphor, and evidently arose from the 
metaphorical use here. 

11. 7rapa Kvpiov iyevero avrrj — this (corner stone) came from 
the Lord, avrrj evidently refers to Ke<f>a\r}v ywna?. In the orig- 
inal, the feminine is used, but obviously according to Hebrew 
usage, for the neuter, referring to the event itself as ordered by 
Jehovah. But the use of the fem. to translate this Heb. fern, is 
quite without precedent in the N.T., and is unnecessary here, as 
we have a grammatical reference to the fem. Ke<f>a\r}v. The 
meaning is " This corner stone came from the Lord, a?id is won- 
derful in our eyes." 

This use of the passage from the Ps. by Jesus is a very good 
illustration of the Messianic application of O.T. writings. There 

1 On this use of the adv. as a prep., see Win. 54, 6. 

2 On the meaning of ovSe without a preceding negative, see Win. 55, 6 , 2. 

3 The passage is Ps. u8 2 2- 23. 

4 A translation of the Heb. S rvn. Win. 29, 3 a. 

5 A translation of the Heb. rijs tfjo. 


can be no doubt from the context that the historical reference is 
to the people of Israel. But what is said of Israel was a common 
and proverbial happening, that might come true of any one whose 
being contained within itself the promise of better things than 
belonged to his start in life, and is especially true of the truly reli- 
gious person or nation. Cf. the parable of the mustard seed, and 
Is. 53. As a principle, therefore, it would apply especially to the 
Messiah. The question, whether Jesus used the passage accord- 
ing to a common view of his time as directly Messianic, or only as 
a statement of this principle, depends on our view of him. It 
seems to be a rational inference, from what we know of Jesus, that 
he had derived his idea of the Messianic office partly from the 
O.T., and that that idea is possible only with a rational treatment 
of the O.T., while the current view of his time would be derived 
from a literalistic and irrational treatment of it. And in general, 
we know that he so far transcended his age as to take a spiritual 
view of the O.T., and there is no reason to suppose that this 
would not include the rational treatment of a passage like this. 
That is, Jesus would see in it not a direct reference to himself, but 
only the statement of a principle applicable to himself. 

12. tyvoidav yap otl 7rpo? avrovs rrjv TrapafioXrjv ei7re — for they 
kneiv that he spoke the parable against them. This is the reason 
for their seeking to take him, not for their fear of the people. 
But as the latter statement is the last made, Meyer makes the sub- 
ject of lyvwo-ai/ to be the oxAos just mentioned, in which case this 
would be a reason for their fear of the people. But there is a 
total absence of anything to indicate such a change of subject in 
lyvoicrav, and this is a greater difficulty than the one which Meyer 
seeks to remove. Meyer's view also deprives the statement of its 
appositeness. 1 

The statement that they knew that Jesus spoke this parable 
against them is conclusive in regard to the meaning of it, and falls 
in with the parable itself, and with its context, placed as it is in 
the midst of a controversy between himself and the authorities. 
It is directed against the Jewish hierarchy, pointing out their sin 
in rejecting one after another of the prophets, culminating in their 
murder of the Messiah himself, and predicting their fate in con- 
sequence. But Mt., while he makes the same statement, v. 45 , 

1 See Win. 61, 7 b. 


about the reference of the parable, makes Jesus say, v. 43 , that the 
kingdom shall be taken from them, and given to a nation produc- 
ing its fruits. This would seem to make the parable apply to the 
nation, and not to the hierarchy. Everything else, however, in 
Mt., as in Mk. and Lk., points to the hierarchy. It seems prob- 
able that Mt. therefore, in v. 43 , adds to the parable, post eventum, 
that the nation was to share the fate of its rulers, and be super- 
seded in their theocratic position by another (Gentile) nation. 
It plainly does not belong here, as the effect would be to bring 
rulers and people together against Jesus, whereas the statement is 
repeatedly made that, so far, it is Jesus and the people against 
the rulers. 


13-17. Jesus is approached by Pharisees and Herodians 
with the question whether it is authorized under the the- 
ocracy to pay tribute to the Roman emperor, hoping to draw 
from him an answer, compromising him either with the 
Roman government or with the people. Jesus answers by 
pointing to the image and inscription of the emperor on the 
coin as a proof of their obligation to him, and bids them 
pay to C&sar what belongs to him, and to God what belongs 
to him. 

13. 4>apio-<uW k. t. 'HpwSiavwv — These emissaries were chosen, 
because they occupied different sides of the question proposed to 
him. The Pharisees owed their popularity partly to their intense 
nationality and their hatred of foreign rule. The Herodians, on 
the other hand, were adherents of the Herods, who owed what 
power they possessed to the Roman government. Neither party, 
however, took an extreme position. The Pharisees are not to be 
confounded with the Zealots ; they submitted to the inevitable. 
Nor is it to be supposed that the Herods had any particular love 
for the government that had helped them to power, to be sure, 
but had taken advantage of their weakness to make themselves 
supreme, and the Herods only their tributaries. Still, as to the 
question of the paying of tribute, with all the corollaries, they 
would be divided, and Jesus must offend one, or the other, by his 
answer, dypevo-wcri Aoya> — they may catch him with a word. The 
word is to be not his own, but their question, artfully contrived to 


entangle him. The figure is that of the hunter with his net or 
snare. 1 

14. Kat iXdovres Xiyovatv avrw — and coming, they say to him. 

koX instead of oi 5e, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 33, mss. Lat. Vet. 

This address of his artful enemies is well described in the 
aypevo-oKn. The question which they have to propose is one 
bristling with dangers, but then, they tell him, that is just what 
you do not care for. You have a sole regard for the truth, not for 
consequences nor persons. Aioa<r/<aA.e — Teacher. They said Rabbi. 
aXrjOr)<; — true, i.e. truthful, kcu ov p.eXei vol ovSevos — and 
carest not for any one. This shows the particular kind of regard 
for the truth which they had in mind. It was one which did not 
stand in fear of man, would not be hindered by awe of kings, not 
even of the Roman emperor, ov yap fiXeTreLs els Trpoaayrrov — for 
thou dost not look at the person of men; dost not pay attention to 
those things which belong to outward condition, such as rank or 
wealth. This is a widening of the meaning of 7rpdo-<o7rov, belong- 
ing to the Heb. rrjv 686v t. ®eov — the way of God, the course pre- 
scribed for men by God. 2 e£eo~TL Krjvaov 3 Kouo-api 4 SovvaL rj ov ; — 
Is it right to give tribute to Ccesar or not? This question took on 
a special form among the Jews, who claimed to be the members 
of a theocracy, so that paying tribute to a foreigner would seem 
like disloyalty to the Divine government. The question of policy, 
or necessity, is kept in the background, and the problem is con- 
fined to the rightfulness of paying such tribute, rj ov — rj /x^. 5 

15. 'O oe eiSws (iSwv) avT&v ttjv vTTOKpimv — But he, knowing 
{seeing) their dissimulation. 

iSwv, instead of et'5<i>s, Tisch. n* D 13, 28, 69, 346, mss. Lat. Vet. 

v-rroKpLo-Lv — this word has been transliterated into our word 
hyprocrisy at a great loss of picturesqueness and force. It means 
acting, from which the transition to the meaning dissimulation is 
easy. What Jesus knew about these men was, that they were 
playing a part in their compliments, and their request for advice. 
They were acting the part of inquirers ; really, they were plotters. 
They were trying to compromise him either with the government 
or the people. In his trial before Pilate we see what use they in- 

1 Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

2 This use of 65ds is familiar in the Heb. but uncommon, though not unknown, 
in the Greek. 

3 Krjvcrov is the Latin word census, meaning a registration of persons and prop- 
erty on which taxation is based. In the N.T., it denotes the tax itself. 

4 Keu'o-api — there is a mixture here of the personal and the titular use of this 
name. As a title of the Roman emperors, it takes the article properly. 

5 ov is used in the first question, because it is one of objective fact, /j.^ in the 
second, because it is a question of proposed action, subjective. Win. 55, 1 a. 



tended to make of one of the two answers to which they thought 
he was reduced. Lk. 23 s . ri fxe 7reipa£ere ; — why do you try me ? 
Our word tempt, in the sense of solicit to evil, is out of place here. 1 
What they were doing was to put him to the test maliciously. 
SrjvdpLov — a shilling? 

The point of Jesus' reply is, that the very coin in which the 
tribute is paid bears on its face the proof not only of their sub- 
jection to the foreign government, but of their obligation to it. 
Coinage is a privilege claimed by government, but it is one of the 
things in which the government most clearly represents the interest 
of the governed. Tribute becomes in this way, not an extortion, 
or exaction, but a return for service rendered. 

17. 'O Be 'Irjcrovs ei7rev aurois, Ta Kcucrapos aVoSoTe KcuVapi — 
And Jesus said to them, The things belonging to Ccesar pay to 

'0 U, instead of Ecu airoKpidds 6, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 33, 

a7ro8oTe — pay. They had said, Sovvm, give. Jesus makes it a 
matter of payment, rot Kaurapo? — the things of Ccesar. Strictly 
speaking, this means, Pay to the Roman government Roman coin. 
They themselves were tacitly recognizing the government, and 
availing themselves of their privileges under it by using its coin, 
and that left them no pretext for denying its rights. The coin 
represents simply the right of the government. The image and 
superscription on it show the government maintaining to the 
people the position not only of power, but of rights. It is in 
this, as in all things, .the defender of rights. This gives to the 
government itself rights, of which tribute is representative. But 
our Lord's reply is entirely characteristic. It suggests, rather than 
amplifies or explains, k. to, t. ®eov tw ®£a> — and the things be- 
longing to God to God. The way in which they had presented 
the question implied that there was a conflict between the claims 
of the earthly and heavenly governments. But Jesus shows them 
as each having claims. Caesar has claims, and also God ; pay 
both. The difficulty with the Jews, and with all bodies claiming 
to represent God, is that they are zealous for him in a partisan 
way, jealous of his prerogatives, dignities, and the like, and make 
that do service for a real loyalty to him. These men were eager 
to assert God's claim against a foreign king. Jesus was anxious 
that they should recognize his real claims, those that involved no 
real conflict, but belonged in the wider sphere of common duties. 
k. i$eOav/xa^ov — and they wondered. Well they might. Jesus 

1 See RV. American readings. Classes of Passages. 

2 Penny, EV. is specially misleading, since the denarius had not only the nomi- 
nal value of our shilling, but a far greater relative value, as it was a day's wages. 
The denarius was a Roman coin, equivalent to ten asses, a ten as piece. 


had not only parried their attack, which was a small matter, but 
had thrown light on a very difficult question. The conflict of 
duties is one of the perplexities of life, and the question of the 
relation of the Christian to civil government is often one of the 
most trying forms of the general problem. Jesus' answer is prac- 
tically, Do not try to make one duty exclude another, but fulfil one 
so as to consist with all the rest. As far as the special matter is 
concerned, it recognizes the right of civil government, the obliga- 
tion of those who live under a theocracy to be subject to civil 
authority, an obligation not abrogated, but enforced by their duty 
to God ; that the Divine obedience does not exclude, but include 
other obediences ; and finally, that human government, as included 
thus within the Divine scheme of things, is among the economies 
to be conformed to its perfect idea. 

i&dav/Aatov, instead of idavfxa<xap, Tisch. WH. RV. x B. 


18-27. The next attack on Jesus comes from another 
source. The Sadducees, the priestly class, being disbelievers 
in tJie resurrection, bring to him zvhat is apparently their 
standing objection, of a woman having seven husbands here, 
and ask him whose wife she will be in the resurrection. 
'Jesus' answer is in two parts : first, that tJiere is no mar- 
riage in the resurrection state ; and secoiidly, that when God 
calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their 
continued life is implied. Anything else is inconsistent 
with that relation. 

18. SaSSouKatoi — The word denotes the sect as Zadokites. 
There is little doubt that the word itself comes from this proper 
name Zadok, and not from p""iat, meaning righteous. Probably, the 
particular Zadok meant is the priest who distinguished himself by 
his fidelity in the time of David. 2 Sam. 15 24 sq., 1 K. i 32 sq. 
After the return from the exile, among the different families con- 
stituting the priesthood, the sons of Zadok seem to have occupied 
the chief place. They were the aristocracy of the priesthood, 
and Ezekiel assigns them exclusive rights to its functions. Ez. 
40 46 43 19 44 15 48 11 . The Sadducees, that is to say, were the party 
of the priests, and especially of the priestly aristocracy. As a 
school of opinion, they were characterized by the denial of the 


authority of tradition, maintaining the sole authority of the written 
Scriptures. As corollaries of this, they denied the resurrection, 
and the existence of angels or spirits. 1 Kal lir-qpoiruiv avrov, Ae- 
yovre? — and they questioned him, saying. 

iTr-npujTuv, instead of iir-qp^TTjcav, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 33, 
Latt. Pesh. Memph. 

19. Kal fir] a<pr} retcvov, iva \dfir) 6 dSeA<£os avrov rr)v ywaiKa — 
and leave no child, that his brother take the woman. 

t£kvov, instead of t£kvol, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. n ca BL A 1, 18, 
241, 299, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Omit avrov after tt}v ywaiKa, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. n BCL A 1, 61, 209, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

This quotation is from Deut. 25 s - 6 . It is introduced in order to 
show that the law itself provides for these successive marriages, 
thus expressly legalizing these successive relations, which the res- 
urrection would make simultaneous. Their question is, therefore, 
whether the same Scriptures teach this, and the resurrection, which 
is inconsistent with it. The quotation does not attempt to repro- 
duce the language. 

21. fxr] KaTaXarliv cnrepixa 2 — not having left seed. 

fir) KaraXnrwv, instead of /ecu oi>8t avrbs a<prjK€, and neither did he leave, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 33, one ms. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 

22. Kal ot €7TTa ovk a<f>rJKav cnrepfm — and the seven left no seed. 

Omit %\a$ov avrrjv . . . Kal before ovk dcpiJKav, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N 
BCDL A 28, 33, Memph. 

This childlessness is specified as the chief element in the inde- 
terminateness of the question, since if either of them had had 
children, that might have decided the question to whom the 
woman belonged. 

co-^arov iravToiv 3 Kal r) ywrj aireOavev — last of all the woman died 

eo-xarov, instead of ka\6.ry\, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCGHKL All I, 
13, 28, 33, 69, mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. Pesh. 

23. lv tyj avacrracru Ttvos avTOiv lorat ywrj ; — In the resurrection, 
whose wife shall she be of them ? This was probably the standing 
puzzle of the Sadducees, in which they sought to discredit the 
resurrection by reducing it to an absurdity. 

Omit odv, therefore, before ava<TTa<ret, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BC* EF 
HLSUVX ril two mss. Lat. Vet. Omit drap avao-ruxrip, whenever they 
arise. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL A 28, 33, two mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. Pesh. 

1 See Schurer, II. 2, 26, II. 

2 /u.rj is used here, instead of ov, because the denial is in some way subjective, 
/xrj gives it something the tone of " so the story goes." 

3 eaxarov is here an adv. and denotes the last of a series of events, and its con- 
junction with nivTuv denoting persons is therefore incongruous. Hence the sub- 
stitution of eaxaTTj by some copyist. Cf. 1 Cor. 15 s . 


24. *E<£?7 olvtchs o 'I770-OVS, Ov 81a tovto -rrXavacrOc, fjJq ciSore? ras 
ypacpds, /xrjSe tyjv Svvap.Lv tov ®eov ; Jesus said to them, Is it not on 
this account that you err, because you know not the Scriptures, 
nor the power of God? Sia tovto points forward to the fxrj aSdVes, 1 
the part, being used causally. What follows in v. 2526 , develops 
these two defects in their consideration of the matter. Their 
ignorance of the power of God is taken up first, in v. 25 . 

E0?7 avroTs 6 'Irjcrovs, instead of Kai aironpideU 6 'Irj&ovs eiirev avroh, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A 33, Memph. Pesh. 

25. This verse contains Jesus' statement of the power of God 
in the resurrection. He has power not only to raise, but so to 
change the body, that marriage ceases to be one of its functions. 
It was because they were ignorant of this, that the Sadducees 
thought their case of seven husbands would be an argument 
against the resurrection. 

oTav . . . di/ao-rtuo-tv — whenever they arise, oYav leaves the time 
of the resurrection indefinite, ya/Ai£ovrai — denotes the act of 
the father in bestowing his daughter in marriage. 2 cos ayyeXoi — 
the angels come as a race, not from procreation, but directly from 
creation. The power of God appears in this, in the transforma- 
tion and clarifying of the resurrection body, so that marriage is 
not a part of the future state. 

yatilfovrai, instead of ya/xicrKovTcu, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BCDGLU A I, 
124, 209. Omit oi after AyyeXoi, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. n CDFKLMU 
All Memph. Hard. 

26. This verse shows their ignorance of the Scriptures, which 
speaks of God as the God of their ancestors, language which is 
inconsistent with their mortality. 

lv Trj fiifiXio* Mcovo-€oos, kin. tov fiaTov 4 — in the book of Moses, at 
the place concerning the bush. 

tov, instead of r^s, before pdrov, Tisch. Treg. WH. n ABCLX TAIL 
iruij, instead of o/j, before eiirev, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCLU A 108, 131. 
Omit 6, the, before Qebs 'lactate, and Geds To/cw/3, Treg. WH. RV. BD, 
two passages in Origen. 

27. Ovk eo-TLv ©eos vcKp&v d\\a £<j>vt(ov — Without the art., ©eos 
becomes the pred., not the subj., and vtKpw is also anarthrous, so 
that it reads, He is not a God of dead men, but of living. 

1 p.\\ is the negative used, because the statement is made by Jesus as a conject- 
ure, of which he asks their opinion. 

2 See i Cor. 7 s8 . ■yo./u.t^oi'Tai is a Biblical word. 

3 /3t/3Ao? is originally the name of the papyrus plant, from which paper was made, 
and then a book or scroll. The quotation is from Ex. 3 6 . 

4 The use of eni is analogous to that with the gen. of persons or things to locate 
an event by its connection with some person or thing ; at the passage which telh 
about the bush. Win. 47, g, d. 


As this is commonly explained, it is made to hinge on the use 
of the present, instead of the past. The statement is, he is their 
God, not he was ; and hence, they are still living. But this is a 
non sequitur, since it is a common expression in regard to both 
dead and living, and would be taken in the same sense, or used in 
the same sense, by either Pharisees or Sadducees. But it follows 
from the nature of God that, when he calls himself the God of 
any people, certain things are implied in the statement about 
these people, e.g. that they are righteous, not sinners ; blessed, not 
wretched ; and here living, not dead. That is, immortality may 
be inferred from the nature of God himself in the case of those 
whom he calls his. But Jesus applies it to the resurrection of the 
dead generally, and not simply of the righteous dead. What the 
Sadducees denied was the possibility of the resurrection on mate- 
rialistic grounds ; at the basis of their denial of the resurrection 
was the other denial of spiritual being. 1 But Jesus proves the 
possibility of the resurrection by examples. 2 Notice that Jesus 
does not reveal the fact of the resurrection, but argues it from 
acknowledged premises. Given, he says, the fact of God, and the 
resurrection follows. He recognizes the rational ground of im- 
mortality. And what is of more importance, he recognizes the 
validity of our intuition about God. We can say that certain 
things may be assumed about him on first principles. 

Omit 6 before Oebs, Treg. WH. RV. BDKLM marg. An. Omit 0e6s 
before &vtwp, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDFKM marg. UX An Latt. 
Egyptt. Pesh. 

iroXv 7r\ava(T$€ — you make a great mistake. This concise state- 
ment at the close makes an abrupt, but for that reason, forcible 
ending of the conversation. 

Omit il^ets odp, you therefore, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A one ms. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. 


28-34. A Scribe, apparently without the usual prejudices 
of his class, and impressed by his answer to the Sadducees, 

1 See Acts 23 s . 

2 Compare Paul's proof of the resurrection by the case of Jesus. 1 Cor. 15 12 sqq. 


approaches Jesus with an honest question as to the first of 
the commandments of the Law. Jesus answers with the 
quotation from Deut. used at the beginning of morning and 
evening prayer, affirming the unity of God, and the conse- 
qtient duty of loving him with an undivided heart. He 
adds a second command from Lev., bidding the people of 
God to love their neighbors as themselves. The Scribe 
assents to this, and adds that obedience to this lazv of love 
is a greater thing than all sacrifices. Whereupon, Jesus 
assures him that he is not far from the kingdom of God. 
But his enemies are evidently satisfied — they do not dare 
to qtiestion him further. 

Judging from the fact, that he was led to put this question by 
seeing how well Jesus had answered the Sadducees, and from his 
commendation of our Lord's reply to himself, as also from our 
Lord's commendation of his answer, it seems probable that the 
Scribe did not ask this question in a captious spirit. He thought, 
Here is possibly an opportunity to get an answer to our standing 
question, about the first commandment. Mt. states the matter 
differently, making him one of a group of Pharisees, who gathered 
about Jesus with the usual purpose of testing him. He also omits 
the mutual commendation of Jesus and the Scribe. 1 Lk. puts this 
scene at the beginning of Jesus' ministry in Southern Palestine. 
He coincides with Mt. in regard to the purpose of the question, 
saying that the lawyer avcorq Uirapa^v. 2 

28. iScdv (eiSws) on KaAai? a.7r€Kpi6rj avfois, imrjpioTrjO-ev avrov, 
Hoia icrrl €vto\y) trpuiTt) ttolvtiov 3 — seeing {knowing) that he 
answered them well, asked him, What {sort of) commandment 
is first of all? 

Ibiav, instead of et'Sws, Tisch. Treg. n* CDL 1, 13, 28, 69, mss. Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. ivroXr] TpdfTTj iravTwu, instead of irpdrr} iraauv tQu ipro\u>v, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. M BCLU A 33, 108, 127, 131, Memph. Syrr. 

7rota asks about the quality of command, as if the scribe had in 
mind the different classes of laws. This is indicated also by his 
reply, v. 33 . 

1 Mt. 2234-40. 2 Lk. 1025-37. 

3 On the gender of wai'Twi', see Win. 27, 6. On this use of navruv with superla- 
tive, the only case in N.T., see Win. 36, note. 


29. 'ArreKpCOr} 6 'Irjcrovs, "On irpuTT) i&rtv — Jesus answered, The 
first is. 

'A-rreKpldr) 6 T^croOs, instead of '0 5£ 'I-rjaovs a-rrcKpld-q, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. n BL A 33, Memph. Pesh. Omit avrd, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. on 
same authority, iarlv, instead of iraawv tQ>v evroXQv, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. M BL A Memph. 

*Akovc, ^lcrparjX, K/upios o ©eos ff/JLuv, Kvpios cts eori — Hear, O 
Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 1 These words, calling 
the attention of Israel to the oneness of Jehovah, were used at the 
beginning of morning and evening prayer in the temple, as a call 
to worship. Kvptos, Lord, is the translation of the Heb. Yahweh, 
and it is probable therefore that the second Kvpios is subject in- 
stead of predicate. 2 This unity has for its conclusion, that worship is 
not to be divided among several deities, but concentrated on one. 

30. dya7n/cms — thou shalt love. Love is the duty of man 
toward God, and this is in itself a revelation of the nature of God. 
It is only one who loves who demands love, and only one in whom 
love is supreme demands love as the supreme duty. He requires 
of men what is consonant with his own being. e£ o\r)<s rrjs KapSias — 
from all the heart. The preposition denotes the source of the love. 
It is to be from all the heart on the same principle of the unity of 
God. Being one, he requires an undivided love. This is added 
to the Sept. statement, which includes only the Stavotas, ^u^s, 
and to-x^os. The Heb. includes the KapoYas, but omits oWotas. 
KapoYa is the general word for the inner man ; *\ivyr) is the soul, the 
life-principle, SWota is the mind, and tV^us is the spiritual strength. 
There is no attempt at classification, or exactness of statement, 
but simply to express in a strong way the whole being. 

Omit avT-t] irpdfrr) ivToX-f/, this is the first commandment, Tisch. (Treg. 
marg.) WH. RV. n BEL A Egyptt. 

31. Aevripa avr-q — The second is this. 

Omit Kat, And, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 
Omit ofxola, like, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n BL A Egyptt. 

The Scribe did not ask for the second commandment, but the 
statement is incomplete without it. Our Lord wished to show 
that this first commandment did not stand at the head of a long 
list of heterogeneous commands, among which it was simply pri- 
mus inter pares, but that it was one of two homogeneous com- 
mands, which exhausted the idea of righteousness. This second 
commandment does not stand in the O.T. in the commanding 
position of the first, but is brought in only incidentally in Lev. 

1 Deut. 6*- 5 . This is quoted just as it stands in the Sept. 
* See Deut. 6 4 , RV. marg. 


19 18 , where, moreover, neighbor is evidently restricted to a brother 
Jew. Jesus puts it in a commanding position, and widens the mean- 
ing of neighbor to fellowman. u>s o-eavrdV — the degree of the 
love to God is expressed by " from all thy heart " ; the degree of 
human love is " as thyself." The love of God includes in itself all 
other affections, but this love of the neighbor has over against it a 
love of self, with which Jesus allows it to divide the man. This 
self-love is already there, monopolizing the man, and the com- 
mand is to subordinate it to the love of God, and to coordinate it 
with the love of man. 

32. Kakws, SiSdaKaXt ' en aXrjOeias enres, 6V1 ets iari — Well, 
teacher! you said truly that he is one. AV. Well, Master ; thou 
didst speak the truth ; for, etc. This is not wrong, but what follows 
on is so nearly what Jesus said, that it seems more natural to make 
it a repetition of that, than a reason for the scribe's approval of 
it. RV. Of a truth, Master, thou hast well said, that, etc. 
The distribution of the words and of emphasis is against this. 
It would read lir aXrjdeias KaAw? d^es. 

Omit 9e6s, God, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABKLMSUX TAII one ms. 
Lat. Vet. many mss. Vulg. Pesh. 

ovk €(ttlv aAAos ttXyjv avrov — there is no other but he. This 
addition to Jesus' words is taken by the Scribe from Deut. 4 s5 - 3Q . 
His enumeration of the parts of man entering into the love of 
God differs again from that of Jesus. The following table shows 
them all together. 

Heb. Kapdia, ■tyvxh, iaxvs. 

Sept. diavola, ^X^i fox™- 

Jesus. KapSia, ^vx'n-, diavoia, iVxvs. 

Scribe. Kapdia, <rvveais, laxvs. 

But of course, this is a matter of no importance, the two latter 
representing only the oratio variata of the writer. 

33. Omit Kal ££ 8\rjs tt}s \pvxys, and from all the soul, Tisch. (Treg. 
marg.) WH. RV. n BL A 1, 118, 209, 299, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 
irepuro-dTepov, instead of irXetov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A 33. Omit 
tQv before dvaiuv, Treg. WH. ABDX TIL 

7T€ptcro-oTepov — a more eminent thing. The positive expresses 
the idea of eminence, of surpassing other things, and the com- 
parative denotes a higher degree of this quality. 6XoKavT0)fxd- 
twv 1 — whole burnt offerings? These words of the Scribe are 
an addition to what Jesus says about the superiority of these two 
commands. Jesus had compared them simply with other laws. 
The Scribe compares them specially with the laws of sacrifice, 
after the manner of the prophets. 

1 The classical Greek has the verb 6Ao»cavT6u>, to burn whole, but this word is con- 
fined to the Bible and to Philo. 2 See Ps. 406 51 16 so 8-i5 i s , ^1 Hos. 56. 

234 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XII. 34, 35 

34. vovve\(j)s — intelligently} ov fiaKpav el ano rrjs /Sao-tXetas t. 
®eov — You are not far from the kingdom of God. The evident 
enthusiasm with which the Scribe received the statement of Jesus, 
and his ability to enter into the spirit of it so as to develop it in 
his own way, showed that he himself could not be far from the 
kingdom, with whose law he has shown himself to be in sympathy. 
To be friendly to its ideas, and sympathetic with its spirit, was the 
next thing to actual submission to it. o£8eis ovkItl iroXfxa avrbv 
i7repu)Tr)crai — no one dared to question him further. The question 
of the Scribe was friendly, but the whole series of questions to 
which it belonged was far from friendly ; it was captious and 
hostile, having for its object to destroy the authority of Jesus by 
showing that he was no more than any other teacher when he 
came to face the real puzzles of the learned men. But Jesus had 
shown in his answers no mere mastery of the usual weapons of 
debate, but a grasp of the principles involved in each case, so that 
the purpose of his enemies was foiled, and his authority stood 
stronger than ever. It was no use to ask him questions therefore, 
which only recoiled on the questioners. 


35-37. Jesus now raises a question himself. Their ques- 
iions have been really a challenge of his Messianic claim. 
His question is a criticism of their Messianic idea. They 
call the Messiah Son of David, and Jesus asks how the 
exalted language of the Psalm in which David calls him 
Lord can be applied to one zvho is only David's son. 

35. aTTOKpideU — Answering their questions now by propounding 
one in his turn. 7rws Xiyovcriv ol ypa/x^areis ; — How do the Scribes 
(ay . . . f According to the statement of Mt., he asked the Scribes, 
What do you think about the Messiah ? whose son is he ? And 
when they answered David's, then he raises his difficulty. This 
simply emphasizes what is stated also in our account, that this title 
is treated by him as Rabbinical rather than Scriptural. 

This is not a conundrum, a Scriptural puzzle, but a criticism of 
the Messianic teaching of the Rabbis. By emphasizing his descent 
from David as the essential thing about him, they were in danger 
of passing over the really important matter, which made him not 

1 This word does not occur elsewhere in the N.T. 

XII. 35] SON OF DAVID 235 

so much David's son, but his Lord. He felt that the title, Son of 
David, into which the Scribes compressed their conception of the 
Messianic position, misrepresented by its narrowness the pro- 
phetic statement of the Messianic kingdom, and involved in itself 
all the errors of current Jewish Messianism. And he was con- 
scious himself of a greatness that could not be ascribed to his 
descent from David, but was the result only of his unique relation 
to God. Hence his question, which does not intend to match 
their riddles with another, but is intended to expose the insuffi- 
ciency of the Messianic idea taught by the Rabbis. For this pur- 
pose he selects a passage from Ps. no, which was currently 
ascribed to David and was classed as Messianic. In this Psalm, so 
interpreted, David is made to address the Messianic king as his 
Lord. And the argument is made to hinge on this address — 
How can David call him Lord, when he is David's son ? Right 
here, then, we have the gravest difficulty to be encountered any- 
where in regard to the N.T. acceptance of the traditional view 
of the O.T. For criticism rejects the Davidic authorship of this 
Psalm. It does not allege plain anachronisms, as in many Psalms, 
e.g. the mention of the temple, or of the destruction of Jerusalem, 
in Psalms ascribed to David. But there are other signs which 
point plainly to the great improbability of Davidic authorship. 
In the first place, it belongs to a group of Psalms, Books IV. and 
V., of the Psalter, which is evidently of late date ; and the reasons 
would have to be special and obvious which would lead us to 
detach it from the rest. Whereas, it bears all the marks common 
to the class. Moreover, if it was written by David, then we have 
to suppose that there was some person occupying his own position 
of theocratic king, but so much more exalted than he that he 
calls him Lord. And this could only be the Messiah, the final 
flower of the Davidic line, whom David sees in vision. But the 
Psalm in that case would stand entirely by itself as being simply a 
vision of an indefinite future, having no roots in the circumstances 
of the times, whereas all O.T. prophecy is of an immediate future 
growing directly out of the present. This leads immediately to the 
conclusion that the Psalm is addressed by the Psalmist to some 
reigning king, who is also somehow a priest, and that the writer 
cannot himself be a king. And, finally, the Messianic conception 
in the time of David had reached no further than this, that his 


royal line was not to fail, even if his sons and successors proved 
sometimes unworthy. But the idea of a Messianic king, who was 
to be the ideal and climax of the Davidic line, and whom David 
himself could call Lord, was the fruit only of a long period of 
national disaster, creating the feeling that only such a unique 
person could restore the national hopes. The idea of a personal 
Messiah belongs to the period succeeding the close of the canon. 
This is the essential reason for rejecting the Davidic authorship. 
How, then, if David did not write the Psalm, can we account for our 
Lord's ascription of it to him? The explanation that will account 
for all the other cases of this kind, viz., that the authorship is of 
no account, leaving him free to accept the current view as a mere 
matter of nomenclature and identification, without committing 
him to an endorsement of it, will not do here, since the argument 
turns on the authorship. But the real explanation of all the cases 
is, that inspiration, which accounts for whatever extraordinary 
knowledge belonged to Jesus in his earthly life, does not extend 
to such matters of critical research as authorship. Inspiration 
belongs to the sphere of the moral and religious intuitions, and 
did not keep even Jesus from ignorance of matters outside of its 
sphere. And here, in its proper sphere, it gave him a view of the 
deeper meaning of Scripture, that led to his declaration that Son 
of David would come very far from adequately stating their view 
of the Messianic king. That would include the universalism of 
the prophets, and the suffering servant of Jehovah of Isaiah. 
Moreover, it would include a unique relation to God, and to 
universal manhood, that would place him in a different class from 
David, and an exalted position, which would be indicated by the 
titles chosen by himself, Son of Man and Son of God, rather 
than Son of David. 

36. avros AavetS d-rrtv iv to Hvevfian to 'Aytw, E?7rev (6) Kvpios 
to Kvpiu> fxov — David himself said in the Holy Spirit, the Lord 
said to my lord. 

Omit yap, for, after avrbs, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. s BLT d A 13. 28, 
59, 69, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Omit 6 before Kvpios, Treg. WH. BD. 
B omits it in Sept. 

iv to ILvevfJLdTi to 'Ayco) — in the Holy Spirit. This phrase 
denotes inspiration. * David said this with the authority that 

1 On icvpios without the art. See Win. 19, 1 a. 


belongs to an inspired man. 1 (6) Kvpios — in the original, this is 
Yahweh (Jehovah), of which 6 Kvpws is the translation in the 
Sept. 2 vttottoSlov tujv 7ro8o)v <rov — a footstool of thy feet 

viroKarw, under, instead of viroir65iov, WH. RV. marg. BD2 r T d 28, 

37. Auto? AaueiS Ae'ya avrov Kx'piov — David himself calls him 
Lord. This makes the difficulty of their position — how lordship 
and sonship go together. 

Omit odv, therefore, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDLT d A 28, 106, 251, mss. 

Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 

6 ttoXvs ox^os — the great multitude present at the feast, the 
multitude being distinguished from the leaders. This statement 
is parallel to those which represent Jesus, all through this contro- 
versy, as carrying the people with him. 


38-40. Somewhere in the course of his teaching on this last 
day of public instruction, Jesus introduces a warning against 
the Scribes, the religious teachers and leaders of his time. 
He charges them with ostentation, an unhealthy craving for 
position and flattery, and a fearful inconsistency betzveen the 
profuseness of their worship and the cruel meanness of their 
lives. Their condemnation^ he says, will be greater than if 
they had been consistently wicked. 

38. cV rrj SiSa-Xfl avrov — in the course of his teaching. Mk. 
does not place this warning exactly. Nor Lk. Mt. says then. 
All of them introduce it in this place. But the warning is not 
against those qualities of the Scribes that would be suggested by 
their misconception of the Messianic idea. 

/jAeVere airb — Beware of s iv o-roXaU irepnra.T&v — to walk about 
in long robes. These arokm were the dress of dignitaries, such as 
kings and priests — long robes reaching to the feet. do-7racrjoiovs — 
salutations of respect. 

39. irpuTOKaOeSpias 4 — first seats. 

1 Mt. says iv nveviJ.aTi. This is the only case of the use of this phrase in the 

2 This passage is quoted from the Sept. without change. 3 See on 8 15 . 

4 This word is found only here and in the parallel passages from Mt. and Lk. in 
'he N.T., and elsewhere, in ecclesiastical writings. 


TrpcDTo/cXicrtas l — chief (reclining) places, not rooms, AV. What 
this chief place at table was, the varying custom prevents our 

40. 61 KaTco-^tWrcs — If this is a continuation of the preceding 
sentence, the nom. is an irregularity, as its noun is in the gen. 2 It 
is better, therefore, to begin a new sentence here, making 61 kcltc- 
aOCovTes the subj. of Xrjpaf/ovTaL — those who devour, etc., shall 
receive? This devouring of widows' houses would be under the 
forms of civil law, but in contravention of the Divine law of love. 
Trpo<f>d(Tu — for a covering. That is, they tried to hide their 
covetousness behind a show of piety. See 1 Thess. 2 5 , where the 
meaning is, that the apostle did not use his preaching of the Gos- 
pel as a mere cloak of covetousness. Trepiao-orepov Kpipux — more 
abundant, or overflowing condemnation. The adjective is strong. 
The comparison is with what they would receive if they made no 
pretence of piety. Notice that the show, as it is commonly 
with men, is of religion, while the offence is against humanity. 
The warning is addressed to the people, and bids them beware of 
religious leaders who affect the outward titles and trappings of 
their office, and offset their lack of humanity by a show of piety. 

The exact verbal correspondence of Mk. and Lk. in this warn- 
ing is proof positive of their interdependence. 


41-44. The day closes with a scene in the treasury of the 
temple. Jesus is watching the multitude casting their 
offerings into the trumpet-shaped mouths of this receptacle, 
and among them many rich men casting in much. But 
there is one poor widow, who casts in two small coins, worth 
about a third of a cent, and Jesus commends her as having 
given more than all the rest. They, he says, gave out of 
their excess ; she, out of her lack, gave all her living. 

41. Kat KaOi<ra<s Karivavn rov ya£o<f>a\vKtov — And having taken 
a seat over against the treasury. 

Omit 6 T77<ro0s, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL A two mss. Lat. Vet. 

1 This word is also found only in the parallel accounts of this discourse, and in 
ecclesiastical writings. 

2 See Win., who treats it as an annex with an independent structure. 59, 8 b, 

3 So Grotius, and following him, Bengel, Meyer, and others. 


ya£o<f>v\a.KLov — treasury} The treasury meant is probably that 
in the outer court of the temple, having thirteen openings shaped 
like trumpets, for the reception of temple offerings and of gifts 
for the poor. ya\Kov — literally, brass, but, like the Latin ess, a 
general word for all money. ZfiaXXov — were casting, denoting 
the repeated act. 

42. fiia xVP a — one widow; contrasted with the many rich. 
Svo Xe-n-rd, 6 eVrt KoSpdvTrjs — the Xctttov was the eighth part of an 
as, the value of which was one and two-thirds cents, so that two 
A.£7TTa were about two-fifths of a cent. KoSpdvTrjs is the Latin word 
quadrans, meaning a quarter of an as. But the real value appears 
only from the fact that the denarius, or ten asses, was a day's 

43. et7T€v avTcits, 'Afjtrjv Acyco vpuv, on rj XVP a o-vr-q rj irT<nyY) 7rAeiov 
7ravT<ov ZfiaXev rwv fiaXXovTwv ets to ya^ocpvXaKLov — said to them, 
Verily I say to you, that this poor widow cast in more than all who 
are casting into the treasury. 

eiirev, instead of \4yei, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x ABDKLU An, two mss. 
Lat. Vet. Egyptt. Syrr. UpaXev, instead of jW/SXij/ce, Treg. WH. RV. n<> (n * 
efiaWev) ABDL A 33. pa\\6vT<ov, instead of pakbvrwv, Tisch. Treg. WH. 

. . . irXeiov irdvroiv efiaXev ruiv fiaXXovroiv — cast in more than 
all who are casting. This is a case where the use of the comp., 
instead of the superl., is misleading, as the superl. means most of 
them all, whereas the comp. strictly means more than all together. 

44. vo-Teprjaeux; — This expression is the exact opposite of irep- 
tcro-evovTo?, one meaning more than enough, and the other less than 
enough; excess and deficiency. RV. superfluity and want. oXov 
tov fiiov — all her living, her resources. The idea of Trepto-o-evevov- 
tos is that they did not trench on their resources, but gave a part 
only of what they had over and above that, while the poor widow 
gave all her resources. Hence, while the real value of their gifts 
was many times greater than hers, the ideal value of hers was the 
greatest of them all. Money values are not the standard of gifts 
in the kingdom of God, but only these ideal values. It is only as 
the gift measures the moral value of the giver, that it counts with 
him who looks at the heart. 

It is noticeable that Mk. closes his account of this stormy scene 
in the Temple with this idyl. The connection is not the verbal 
and superficial relation to the widows of v. 40 , but the contrast 
between the outward meagreness and inward richness of the 
widow's service, and the outward ostentation and inward barren- 
ness of the Pharisees' religion. 

1 A Scriptural word, of which the first part is a Persian word for treasure. 



XIII. 1-37. As they are coming out of the temple, the 
disciples call Jesus'' attention to the greatness of the stones y 
and of the building itself Jesus predicts its complete de- 
struction. They ask him the sign of this, and Jesus shows 
them first, the danger that they will be deceived by false 
Messiahs, and by premature omens. They are not to be 
disturbed by these, but are to look out for themselves, 
exposed to great dangers, and burdened with the great re- 
sponsibility of making known their message to all nations 
(v. 1-13 ). But when they see the desolating abomination, the 
Roman army, standing where it ought not, before the city 
itself, then they are to get out of the city, and not stand on 
the order of their going. That is to be a time of unpar- 
alleled distress, of false and specially plausible Messiahs, 
and is to be followed immediately by the comi?ig of the Son 
of Man with the usual Divine portents (v. 14 " 27 ). As to the 
time of these events, it is to be within that generation, but 
no one, not even the Son of Man, knows the exact time. 
They need to be on the watch, therefore (v. 28-37 ). 

There have been, up to recent times, two interpretations of this 
discourse. Both of them separate it into two principal parts : the 
prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the prophecy of 
the consummation of all things with the advent of the Messiah in 
glory. But one of them, the traditional interpretation, postpones 
the latter part indefinitely, and is still looking for the world-catas- 
trophe which its advocates suppose to be predicted here. The 
difficulties in the way of this interpretation are grave and insuper- 
able. It ignores the coupling together of the two parts in the 
discourse, as belonging to one great event. Mt. v. 29 , says that 
they will follow each other immediately. Mk., that they belong 
to the same general period. It passes over also, or attempts to 
explain away, the obvious notes of time. All of the accounts wait 
until they have come to the end of the prophecy, including both 


parts, before they introduce the statement of the time of all these 
events, and the statement itself is, that that generation was not to 
pass away till all these things came to pass. Further, it leaves 
unexplained the expectation of an immediate coming which colors 
all the other N.T. books, and all the life of the Church in the sub- 
sequent period. But especially, it runs counter to the historical 
interpretation of prophecy, which gives us the only key to its 
rational exegesis, by postponing to an indefinite future events 
which the prophecy itself regards as growing out of the present 

The other interpretation, the common one at present, interpret- 
ing the prophecy itself in the same way, places the time of its 
fulfilment in that generation. That is, they involve Jesus himself 
in the evident error of the other N.T. writings and of the Church 
in the subsequent period. The error of this interpretation, exe- 
getically not so serious as the other, is that it takes jrtejrajlyjan- 
guage which can be shown to be figurative. But the other and 
more serious difficulty is, that it commits Jesus to a programme 
of the future which is directly counter to all his teachings in 
regard to the kingdom of God. 

A third interpretation, the one adopted here, holds that the 
event predicted in the second part did take place in that gener- 
ation, and in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem. The 
event itself, and the signs of it, it interprets according to the 
analogy of prophecy, figuratively. It finds numerous instances of 
such use in O.T. prophecy. God coming in the clouds of heaven 
with his angels, and preceded or announced by disturbances in 
the heavenly bodies, is the ordinary prophetic manner of describ- 
ing any special Divine interference in the affairs of nations. See 
especially Dan. 7 13 - 14 - *, where this language is used of the coming 
of the Son of Man, i.e. of the kingdom of the saints, to take the 
place of the world-kingdoms. The prophecy becomes thus a 
prediction of the setting up of the kingdom, and especially of its 
definite inauguration as a universal kingdom, with the removal of 
the chief obstacle to that in the destruction of Jerusalem. 

1. Kat eKwopevofxevov i< tov lepov — And as he was coming out oj 
the temple. The previous scene was in the court of the temple. 
lepov denotes the whole temple-enclosure. eU rw fiad-qroiv — 
one of his disciples. We are not told who it was. Mt.' says, his 


disciples ; Lk., certain people} TroTa-rroi XiOol — what manner of 
stones? Josephus gives the dimensions of these stones as 25 
cubits in length, 12 in breadth, and 8 in height. Ferguson, in 
Bib. Die, gives the measurements of the temple proper, the vads, 
as about 100 cubits by 60, with inner enclosure about 180 cubits 
by 240, and an outer enclosure 400 cubits square, the enclosures 
being adorned with porticoes and gates of great magnificence. 

2. Kat 6 'Irjarovs et7rev avrw, B/VeVets Tavras Ta? /xeyaAa? oiKo8o/xa9 ; 
ov /xt) dfpeOrj <SSe XlOos €7rt XtOov, o? ov /xrj KaraXvOrj — And Jesus 
said to him, Seest thou these great structures ? There will not be 
left here stone upon stone, which will not be destroyed. This is a 
rhetorical statement of utter destruction. It would not be a non- 
fulfilment of this prophecy to find parts of the original structure 
still standing. 

Omit airoKpidds, ansxvering, after 'I-qo-ovs, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BL 
23, 115, 237, 255, one ms. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. Pesh. Insert cJ5e, here, after 
d0e07J, Treg. WH. RV. x BDGLM 2 U A mss. Lat. Vet. Pesh. Tisch. 
objects to this insertion as being taken from Mt., where it occurs without 
variation. \Ldov, instead of Xid^, after eirl, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N 
BGLMUX TAIT 1, 13, 28, 33, 69, etc. D and a number of mss. of Lat. 
Vet. add here, and after three days, another will rise up without hands ! 
See J. 2 19 . 

3. Kat KaOrjfJievov avrov eh to opos r. cXatW 3 — And he seating 
himself 011 the Mount of Olives. Mk. alone adds, over against the 
temple, as the situation would recall the previous conversation on 
coming OUt of the temple. €7rr)pu)Ta avrov kclt iSiav Ilei-pos Kat 
'Ia/cw/Jos k. 'laidwrjs k. 'AvS/oeas — Peter and Jai7ies and John and 
Andrew asked him privately. Mk. retains here the order of these 
names given by him in the account of the appointment of the 
twelve. 4 

eirrjpdra, instead of iirrjpJjrwv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. K BL 13, 28, 33, 
69, 229, Hard. marg. eltrbv, instead of eiirk, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BDL I, 
I3» 2 8> 33. 69, 346. 

4. Et7rov 5 rjfjuv, 7to't6 ravra eo-Tat — Tell us, when these things will 
be. ravTa refers to the destruction of the temple just mentioned. 6 
But in giving the answer of Jesus, Mk. introduces false Messiahs 
in such a way as to seem to imply a previous reference to his own 
reappearance, so that Mk.'s report taken as a whole would imply 
more than this single reference of the ravra. But this appearance 

1 Mt. 24I Lk. 2I&. 

2 TTOTanoi is a later form for the Greek TroSairoi. On the etymology of the word, 
see Liddell and Scott, Thay.-Grm. Lex. Properly, the word denotes origin — from 
what country? — but from Demos, on, it has also the meaning, of what sort? 
Here, it is exclamatory, calling attention to the greatness of the temple buildings. 

3 On this use of ei? with a verb of rest, see Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

4 See 3I6-I8, 5 The imper. <htt6v is from sec. aor. dna. 

6 The plural is used because this event is complex, including in itself a multiplied 
series of events. 


of false Messiahs in Mk.'s account may easily be explained as one 
of the premature signs of the catastrophe which makes the single 
subject of the prophecy so far. Moreover, the way in which the 
destruction of the temple, the reappearance of Jesus, and the 
consummation of the age are introduced in Mt. (24 s - 3 ) shows con- 
clusively that in that Gospel the three are all treated as parts and 
titles of the one event. 

5. 'O 8e 'I^o-oOs rjpiaro Aeyetv avrois, BAeVeTe firj 1 — And Jesus 
began to say to them. Beware lest. 

Omit airoicpideU, answering, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BL 33, Egyptt. 

6. iroXKol IXtvaovrai eVt to ovo/xart fiov — Many will come in my 

Omit yap, for, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. x * B Egyptt. 

This warning against false Messiahs coming in his name is oc- 
casioned apparently by a part of their question, given by Mt. alone, 
who states their inquiry thus — what is the sign of thy coming, and 
of the end of the age ? Nothing has been said by Mk. to lead up 
to this warning. The prophecy has been the destruction of the 
Temple, and the question of the apostles has been when that is to 
take place. But nothing has been said of his coming. The ac- 
count of the previous conversation in Mt. would seem necessary 
therefore to supplement the account of Mk. But see note on 
TavTa, v. 4 . Moreover, the -n-apova-ca, the coming, of Mt. has no ante- 
cedents, and yet it is introduced as something well understood by 
the disciples, of which they inquired only the time. Before this, 
the Gospels have taken us only as far as the resurrection of Jesus 
predicted by himself. And even that prediction they tell us that 
the disciples did not understand. And yet, here they are talking 
of his coming again as an understood fact. If it was, then their 
dismay at his death, and their unbelief of his resurrection, are un- 
accountable. he\ tw ovufxarc /xov, in my name. Not his personal 
name, but his official title. They would not assume to be Jesus 
returned to the earth, but they would claim his title of Messiah. 

7. 7roA€/xovs k. aKoas 7roAe/aa)v — wars and rumors of wars. 
Jesus speaks first of false Messiahs, against whom he warns them. 
Now, he comes to those commotions which are apt to be taken 
by men living in critical times and looking forward to great events, 
as signs of the future. firj OpoeiaOe — be not alarmed? The reason 
of this injunction is given in what follows, Set yeveaOai, they have 
to come, although yap after Set is to be omitted. 3 These wars and 

1 On this unclassical use of p\4neiv, see on 4 s4 . 

2 A late meaning of the word, which means properly, do not make an outcry. 

3 Notice the asyndetic character of the entire discourse, so peculiar to Mk.'s 
abrupt style. 


rumors of wars are necessary, being involved in the nature of 
things ; they are always happening, and so men are not to be dis- 
turbed by them as if they were things out of the ordinary course 
to be construed as signs. They are necessary, but they are not 
signs of the end ; the end is not yet. 

Omit yap, for, after dei, it is necessary, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. 
n * B Egyptt. 

8. 'Eyep&JcreTai yap Wvos zir ZOvos — For nation will rise against 
nation. A confirmation of the preceding statement, that wars 
must be. ecrovrai 0-6107x01 Kara tottovs 1 — there will be earthquakes 
in divers places, Icrovrat Xi/xoC — there will be famines. The 
statement gains in impressiveness by the omission of kcu before 
these clauses ; it reads, For nation will rise against nation, and 
kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in divers 
places; there will be famines. 

Omit koX, and, before Uovt<u <rei<rp.ol, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL 28, 
124, 299, Egyptt. Omit ko.1 before icovTai \ifxoi, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. 
N c BL 28, Memph. Omit ko.1 rapaxai, and tumults, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
N *andc bdl mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

dpxq <o8lv(dv TavTa — these things are a beginning of travails. 
The word woYvwv was in popular use to denote the calamities pre- 
ceding the advent of the Messiah, and the reason of the figure is 
to be found not only in the pains, but in the joyous event which 
they ushered in. But they do not mark the end, but the begin- 
ning of that process of travail by which the new birth of the world 
is to be brought about. The whole paragraph, so far, is a state- 
ment of things which need not alarm them, since they are not, as 
men take them to be, signs of the end. 

dpxv, instead of a PX ai, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDKLS* U All* mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

9. /?Ac7reTe Se fyms iavrovs. vfieU is emphatic. But do ye take 
heed to yourselves. They are not to go about after false Mes- 
siahs nor studying portents ; they will have their work to do in 
looking after themselves. 7rapa8(ocrouo-i v/xas — they will deliver you 
up. aweSpia — councils. The word is used of the local tribunals 
to be found in Jewish towns, modelled somewhat after the San- 
hedrim, the great council of Jerusalem, kcu ei? o-waywyas — and 
into synagogues. The words belong to the preceding 7raoa8a)o-ov- 
aiv, and SaprjcrecrOe stands by itself. It reads, They will deliver 
you tip to councils and to synagogues. You will be beaten? The 

1 On this distributive use of Kara, see Win. 49 d, b) . 

2 So Erasmus, Tyndale, Meyer, Treg. Morison. The more common interpreta- 
tion makes els crwayuyas a pregnant construction after Sapjja-eafle — you will be 
{taken) into synagogues (and) beaten. Meyer points out that to leave fiaprjo-eo-fle 
standing disconnected agrees admirably with the general asyndetic character of the 


synagogues were the ecclesiastical tribunal of the town, as the 
aweSpuL were the municipal court. rjyep.6vtov — the word used in 
Greek to denote the Roman provincial governors. To sum up, 
o-we'8/Dta and crwayayyai were Jewish tribunals, 1 and ^yep.6ve<: and 
/Sao-tAet? were Gentile rulers. They were to be brought before 
both, ei/exev e/xov — for my sake. It was to be because of their 
attachment to him, that they were to be brought to trial, eh 
paprvpiov avrols — for a testimony to them. This was the Divine 
purpose of their appearance before earthly tribunals. They were 
to stand there to testify to Jesus. 

Omit yap after irapaddxrovvt, Tisch. (Treg.) Treg. marg. WH. BL 

10. K. cis Travra ra eOvrj — And in all the nations must the glad 
tidings first be heralded. This is suggested by the mention of 
Gentile rulers in the preceding. It is a part of that, moreover, 
which makes it necessary for them to look out for themselves dur- 
ing this period. They are to be subject not only to private 
persecutions, Lut to governmental oppositions and under that 
pressure they are nevertheless to become heralds of the good 
news of the kingdom of God in every nation, b fore the end 
comes. Hence they have themselves to look out for, and not 
rumors and portents and signs. Moreover, this shows what he 
means by the care of themselves that he enjoins upon them. It 
is not care for their safety, but for their spiritual condition in the 
face of such opposition, and of so difficult a work. 

11. Kat orav aymcriv tyxas 7ra/oaStSovTcs — This is difficult to ren- 
der. It means, whenever, in the act of delivering them up, men 
are leading them to the authorities. 

Kai 8rav, instead of Orav de, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL 33, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. &yu<rt.v, instead of dydyuatv, Tisch. Treg. WH. 

p.r] 7rpop.epip.vare 2 Tt \a\rjo-qre, dAA' o eav BoBrj vpuv ev eKeivrj rrj 
wpa, tovto XaXelre — do not be anxious beforehand what to say; 
but whatever is given you in that hour, this speak. The etymologi- 
cal sense of fits in here ; do not be distracted before- 
hand ; do not let your attention be divided and drawn off from 
the more important matters before you. iv eWv# rrj wpa. — what 
to speak will be given you at the time of your trial, contrasted with The fact, that it is the Holy Spirit which is to speak 
in them, shows that it is not their defence of which Jesus is think- \ 
ing, but of the testimony to the kingdom, v. 9 , which is the Divine 
purpose in bringing them there. This title, Holy Spirit, which 

1 See Schurer II. I, § 23, II.; II. 2, § 27. 

2 This verb is found only here in the N.T., and elsewhere only in ecclesiastical 


became so common in Christian phraseology, is found already in 
the Jewish writings (not the O.T.) Sap. i 5 . See note on i 8 . 

Omit /xT]dk /xeXerare, nor rehearse, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BDL I, 33, 
69, 157, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Egyptt. 

12. Kat 7rapaSwo-a d8eA.<£os aSe\<pov eis Bo.vq.tov — And brother 
will deliver up brother to death. 

Kal Trapaduaei, instead of irapaddcei 5e, N BDL mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 

They will be subject not only to governmental opposition, but 
to private persecution, and this will extend even to members of 
their own families, so bitter will be the hostility awakened against 

13. 6 Se v7rofi€iva<; ets re\os — But he who has remained steadfast 
to the end. v-rro^ivai denotes steadfastness under trial and opposi- 
tion. This closes Jesus' statement of the reason for their taking 
heed to themselves. They will be persecuted by the powers of 
the world, and hated by everybody, even in their own families, and 
in the face of this opposition will have to carry the Gospel to all 
nations, and the price of their salvation will be steadfastness under 
it all, even to the end. 

14. "Otolv 8c lBy)T€ to /38ikvyfxa rfjs ep^/Awo-ews eo-TrjKora ottov ov Set 
— Jesus comes now to the real cause of alarm, the sign of the 
end. It is the /SBiXvy/xa rrjs iprjfxuio-eus, the abomination of desola- 
tion, or the desolating abomination, standing where it ought not. 
This title is taken directly from the Sept. of Dan. n 31 12 11 , where 
it refers probably to the idol altar placed on the altar of burnt 
offerings by Antiochus Epiphanes. But it seems probable here, 
that the words, as is frequently the case in N.T. quotations from 
the O.T., are to be taken not in their historical sense, but in a 
sense more applicable to the N.T. occasion, and easily contained 
within the words themselves. Lk. supplies us with this interpreta- 
tion, when he makes Jerusalem surrounded by armies to be the 
sign of the end. Jerusalem would be the holy place (Mt. 24 15 ) 
where the abomination of desolation ought not to stand, and the 
abomination of desolation would be the abhorred and devastat- 
ing armies of Rome. Wars and rumors of wars, as long as they 
keep away from the holy place, are not signs of the end, but when 
they attack the holy city, then beware. 6 avayiv(oo-K<ov vocltio — let 
him that reads understand. There has been much debate whether 
these words belong to Jesus' discourse, or have been interpolated 
by the writer. The use of dvayivwo-Keoi/, instead of dKotW, decides 
this, as the omission of the words to prjOkv Sia Aavi^A, t. irpo<p, 
which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, leaves nothing for 
avayivJio-KOiv to refer to, except what Jesus himself says, and it is 
only after that has been committed to writing, that avaytvoio-Kwv 
can be used in reference to it. Mk. intends to call special atten- 


tion to this part of Jesus' prophecy. And evidently this is because 
his readers stood in the shadow of this approaching event, and it 
became them therefore to read intelligently what Jesus has to say 
about it. If it is asked why attention is called to this particular 
part of the prophecy, it is because Jesus himself calls attention 
to it as containing the key to the situation ; this is the sign of the 
end. When that takes place, they need expect no other result of 
the siege, than that predicted, eis to. opr) — into the mountains. 
Mountains are mentioned as the natural places of refuge. 

15. 6 (Se) eVt tov Sw/jlcltos fir) KaTa^aTO}, /xrjBe elaekOdru) 1 apai tl etc 
TT79 ot/aas avrov — (And) let not him who is upon the house descend, 
nor go in to take anything out of the house. They are not to 
descend, but flee immediately by the external approach to the 
roof, instead of going down into the house for any purpose. The 
whole is an expression of the haste necessary to escape the im- 
pending event. 

Omit 5£ (Treg. marg.) WH. BFH, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Omit eis 
tt)v oUlav, into the house, Tisch. WH. RV. n BL two viss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 
Pesh. d<re\d&TU), instead of -Wtw, Tisch. Treg. WH. n ADL A 13, 28, 346. 

16. Kat 6 ets rbv dypbv pvq i-rrLaTpeif/aLTw ets ra oVta-co dpat to tua- 
tiov — and let not him who is in the field turn back to take his 
outer garment. The picture is of a man who has left his outer 
garment in the house for work in the field. 

Omit wv after dypbv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL A 1, 28, 209, 245, 
299, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

18. irpocrevyeo-Ot 8e tva p.rj yevrjrat ^et/xoivos — And pray that it 
may not take place in the winter time. The catastrophe is meant, 
and not their flight. The reason given, viz. the unheard-of great- 
ness of the calamity, shows this. 

Omit 7} (pvyrj v/j.Qv, your flight, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n * and ca BDL 
most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. 

19. lo-ovrat yap at ^uepat Ik. 0\i\pt<; — for those days will be 
tribulation, instead of a time of tribulation. Wetstein translates 
the expression, one prolonged calamity. ola ov yeyovc Toiavr-q — 
literally, such as there has not been such. 2 

r/v, instead of tjs, after Krlvews, Tisch. Treg. WH. N BC* L 28. 

20. Kat et p.7) iKoX6/3oiO~€v 3 Kvpios Tas ^tiepas, ovk av eo-to^r; 7rao"a 
o-ap£ — And if the Lord had not shortened those days, no flesh 
would have been saved. The aor. tenses put this action in the 

1 On this form, see Win. 13, 1. 2 On this redundancy, see Win. 22, 4 b. 

3 eKoXofiuxrev is used in the Greek only of physical mutilation. In the N.T., it is 
used only here and in the parallel passage in Mt., of cutting short time. A striking 
instance of the interdependence of the Synoptics. 


past — if the Lord had not shortened the time, no flesh would have 
been saved. The language is proleptic, stating the event as it 
already existed in the Divine decree. 1 It is needless to say that 
io-u)dr) is used of physical deliverance, though it has been inter- 
preted of the deliverance from temptation to unfaithfulness in 
such an hour of trial. rov<s €kA£ktov? ovs i£e\£$a.To — the elect, 
whom he elected? There will be some among that multitude given 
over to destruction who are God's own chosen ones, and on their 
account he shortened (in the Divine decree) these days. It 
would be the number, and not the length of those days, that God 
would shorten. 

21. Kat Tore idv rt? vfxlv €171-77, "iSc, (38e 6 Xptoros, t8e, ckci, fxrj 
7ncrreveT€ — And then, if any one says to you, See, here the Messiah, 
see, there, believe it not. Tore, then, is added to the warning against 
false Messiahs appearing in the preceding period (v. 6 ). 

*T5e, instead of the first Idoti, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BL. "ISe, instead of 
second TSotf, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BDL 28. Omit rj, or, before it, Tisch. 
WH. N LU 40, 69, 127, 131, 157, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. iritrreijeTe, 
instead of irurTeteyTe, Tisch. Treg. WH. n ABCDEFHLV A. 

22. iycpOrja-ovTai yap (St) if/evBo^pLCTTOL Kat if/ev$07rpocf>Y}Tai, s Kat 
SuMTOvai (Troirjo-ovcn) Kat ripara* 7rpos to a7ro7rAavai/, et Svva- 
tov, tovs ckXcktovs — for {and ) false Messiahs and false prophets 
will arise, and will give {do) signs and prodigies, in order to 
deceive, if possible, the elect. 

Buxrovo-L belongs especially to cr^eta, rather than repara. A 
sign is something given in proof of one's claim, repara denotes 
miracles as wonders, abortive, unearthly, and portentous phe- 
nomena, and thus corresponds most exactly to our word miracles. 
7rp6s to d7ro7rAavav 5 may denote result, as well as object. 6 But ei 
SwaroV, if possible, points to the signification of object. ckAcktovs, 
here and in v. 20 , does not have its dogmatic sense, but the literary 
sense of choice or picked men seems to accord with the spirit of 
the passage. They are distinguished from the common crowd. 

This manifestation of false Messiahs and prophets is to be dis- 
tinguished from the one in v. 6 , in the time before the end, being 
accompanied by these miracles and signs, so that the danger of 
deception is greater. 

Tisch. reads 5£, instead of yhp, at the beginning of the verse with N C, 
regarding 7ap as copied from Mt., where it is the invariable reading. Also 

1 Win. 42, 2 b ; Mey. on Mt. 24 22 . 

2 On this redundancy, and the similar fulness of expression in ktio-cw? qv tKnacv, 
creation which he created, v. 19 , see Meyer's Note. 

8 Words compounded with \pev80- are common in later Greek, but not in the 
classical period. ^evSo/uai/Tis is the Greek word for false prophet. 

4 repara occurs only here and in the parallel passage in Mt., in the Synoptics. 
Its most frequent use is in the Acts. 

6 anoirKavav occurs elsewhere in the N.T. only in 1 Tim. 6 10 . 6 Win. 49 h. 


iroi^ffovaiv, instead of duxrovai, with D 13, 28, 69, 91, 124, 299, 346, two 
mss. Lat. Vet., for the same reason. Omit Kal before roi/s ^kXc/ctoi/s, Tisch. 
(Treg.) WH. RV. n BD^. 

It is singular to see David George (1556), Lodowick Muggle- 
ton (1746), John Cochran (1868), enumerated among the Mes- 
siahs foretold in this prophecy. (Morison.) Whatever opinion is 
held as to the contents of the prophecy, whether it refers simply 
to the destruction of Jerusalem with whatever significance may be 
attached to that, or includes also the visible coming of the Lord 
and the final judgment, there is general consent now that the 
prophecy is restricted in time to that generation, v. 30 . In general, 
the historical interpretation of prophecy is fairly settled. 

23. iy/,€ts 8k /?A.€7reTe — But do you be on the lookout. The effect 
of the insertion of the pronoun is to emphasize it. The purpose 
of the false prophets and Messiahs is to deceive even the elect. 
But they, the elect, are to take heed. They do not belong to the 
unprepared multitude, but have been prepared by their Master. 
Those who divide the prophecy into two parts, one referring to 
the destruction of Jerusalem, and the other to the end of the 
world, make the division at v. 20 . But this vfxus /SAcVere is strongly 
against any interpretation which makes the warning refer to a 
time when none of the disciples to whom it was addressed were 
living. The warning might include others besides these, but 
should certainly include them. 

Omit l8ov, lo, before irpoelprjKa, I have told you beforehand, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. BL 28 one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

We come now to the coming of the Son of Man, with its accom- 
panying portents, v. 24 " 27 . It is placed after the destruction of 
Jerusalem, but in the same general period : in those days, after 
that affliction. The portents, the darkening of the sun and moon, 
and the falling of the stars, belong to that event, and not to the 
destruction of Jerusalem. This separation of the two events 
which might seem to belong together, means that the fall of Jeru- 
salem is a preparation for the Advent, which cannot take place 
without it. It is that end of the old order which must precede 
the beginning of the new. 

24. iv €K€ivchs Tats Yjixepais — in those days. These words denote 
the general period which he is describing, the fall of Jerusalem. 
This coming of the Son of Man belongs to that epoch, fxera rrjv 
dXixj/iv iK€Lvr]v — after that calamity. The 6Xtif/t<s referred to is 
that of v. 19 ; so that what follows is included in the period, but 


placed after the calamity. 6 rjXtos o-KOTLo-Orjo-tTai — the sun will 
be darkened. This disturbance of the heavenly bodies, and the 
prediction of the coming of the Son of Man, have been supposed 
to be decisive of the view that this prophecy looks beyond the 
fall of Jerusalem to the end of the world. But this darkening and 
fall of the heavenly bodies is so common an accompaniment of 
O.T. prophecy, and its place is so definitely and certainly fixed 
there, as belonging to the Apocalyptic imagery of prophecy, and 
not to the prediction of events, that it presents no difficulty what- 
ever, and does not even create a presumption in favor of the 
view that this is a prophecy of the final catastrophe. In Is. 13 10 , 
it reads, " For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof 
shall not give their light ; the sun shall be darkened in his going 
forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. ... I will 
make the heaven to tremble, and the earth shall be shaken out of 
her place." But this is a part of the prophecy of the destruction 
of Babylon by the Medes. In Is. 34*, it reads, " And all the host 
of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled 
together as a scroll, and all their host shall fade away as the leaf 
fadeth from off the vine, and as a fading leaf from the fig tree," 
where the event predicted is the judgment of Edom. In Ez. 
32 78 , similar language is used of the judgment of Egypt, and in 
Amos 8 9 , of the northern kingdom. In Joel 2 30 - 31 , 3 15 , where the 
subject is the judgment of the nations in connection with the 
return of Judah from captivity (see 3 1 ), it says : "I will show won- 
ders in the heavens above, and in the earth blood and fire, and 
pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the 
moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord 
come. . . . The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars 
withdraw their shining." That is to say, this language is intended 
to portray the greatness of the doom of such nations as come 
under the judgment of God. When he comes in judgment, the 
earth and even the heavens dissolve before him. But it is needless 
to minimize these words into eclipses, or earthquakes, or meteoric 
showers, or to magnify them into actual destruction of sun and 
moon and stars. They are not events, but only imaginative por- 
trayal of what it means for God to interfere in the history of 
nations, at 6Wa/x£is ox lv t. ovpavots. Swa/xi? is used frequently 
in Greek writers of armies, hosts, and hence it is used to translate 
the Heb. ff OEJn KSi the host of heaven, a phrase used of the stars 
(2 K. 17 16 23* Is. 34 4 ). See Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

icovra.1 i< tov ovpavov, instead of tov ovpavov evovrai, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n ABCU n * mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. Pesh. viirTovres, instead of 
eKTriirTovTes, same editors, and n BCDL IT * mss. Lat. Vet. 

26. koX rore oif/ovrat tov vlbv t. avOpwirov ip^ofxevov lv vec^eAcus — 
And then they will see the Son of Man co?ning in clouds. This 


language is not to be taken literally, any more than that about the 
heavenly bodies. That is, usage makes it unnecessary, and in 
this case, the immediate connection with the destruction of Jeru- 
salem makes it impossible. In Ps. 97 1 " 5 , the reign of God on 
earth has the same accompaniment of clouds, darkness, and fire. 
In Is. 19 1 , Yahweh is represented as coming on a swift cloud to 
Egypt. In Zech. 9 14 , when God stirs the sons of Zion against the 
sons of Greece, he, himself, is seen above the combatants, send- 
ing forth his arrows like lightning, blowing the trumpet, and 
coming in the whirlwinds of the south. And in Ps. 18 5 " 16 , is the 
locus classicus, where all the powers of nature are made to con- 
tribute to the pomp of Yahweh's coming to the rescue of his 
servant. But the passage from which this language is taken is 
Dan. 7 13 , in which one like a Son of Man comes with the clouds of 
heaven, and the Ancient of Days gives him an everlasting and uni- 
versal kingdom. The writer has seen a vision of four beasts, 
which are four kingdoms, and then he has a vision not of a beast, 
but of a Son of Man, to whom is given not a perishable kingdom 
like that of the beasts, but an everlasting kingdom. And when 
he explains this kingdom like the others, it appears to be the 
kingdom of the saints of the Most High. But the point is, that 
in this vision, the clouds are not to be taken literally ; they make 
a part of the picture, intended to represent that this kingdom to 
be set up on the earth is after all not an earthly kingdom, but one 
coming down out of heaven, a theocracy. If any one had sug- 
gested to the writer, that it was to have a literal fulfilment, he 
would have said that that was not in his mind. Jesus then, in 
adopting this language, meant that this prophecy out of the O.T. 
was to be fulfilled in himself at the time of the destruction of 
Jerusalem. Then the kingdom of God is to be set up in the 
world, that unworldly and everlasting kingdom of which the sign 
is not a beast, but one like a Son of Man coming in the clouds. 
But here, we face the question, what there was in this catastrophe 
of the Jewish nation which can be described as a coming of the 
Son of Man in the clouds with power and great glory. All the 
marks of time in the chapter point to that one time and confine 
us to that ; and, as we have seen, the language, which seems to 
point to a world-catastrophe and the consummation of all things, 
does not take us beyond that, since it is used elsewhere of events, 
such as the destruction of Babylon and the judgment of Edom, 
which have the same general character as this destruction of Jeru- 
salem. But what is there about this event that can be called a 
coming of the Son of Man with power and great glory? The 
answer to this is to be found in the fact that Christ is said in the 
N.T., to have assumed the seat of power at the right hand of God, 
and especially that the government of the world has been com- 
mitted to him. The same lansfuasre that has been used in the 


O.T., therefore, to represent a Divine intervention in the affairs of 
the world, especially in great national crises, is now applied to 
the Messianic King, who rules, not on an earthly but a heavenly 
throne. And neither in the one case nor the other is a visible 
coming implied. But Mt., in the account of the trial of Jesus 
before the Sanhedrim, uses a word which is decisive of the way in 
which the coming of the Son of Man is to be taken. Jesus says, 
Mt. 2 6 64 , aur dpri oif/e&Oc r. vlbv r. dv6po>Trov Ka.6rjp.zvov ck 8e£iCjv t. 
oWa//,eojs, k. zpypnevov lirl t. ve<f>e\u>v — Henceforth, from this time on, 
you will see the Son of Man seated on the right hand of the Power, 
and coming on the clouds of heaven. This settles two things : first, 
that the coming is not a single event, any more than the sitting on 
the right hand of Power ; and second, that it was a thing which was 
to begin with the very time of our Lord's departure from the world. 
Moreover, the two things, the sitting at the right hand of Power, 
and the coming, are connected in such a way as to mean that he 
is to assume power in heaven and exercise it here in the world. 
The period beginning with the departure of Jesus from the world 
was to be marked by this assumption of heavenly power by the 
Christ, and by repeated interferences in crises of the world's his- 
tory, of which this destruction of Jerusalem was the first. With it, 
there was to be a consummation of that age, o-wrcAeta rov alwvos, a 
winding up of the Jewish period, and with it the great obstacle at 
that time to the setting up of the kingdom of God in the world. 

27. k. Tore a.7ro(TTeXe2 rovs dyyeXovs, k. i-rrKrvvd^ei r. IkXcktovs, 
etc. — And then he will send forth the angels, and will gather 
(his) elect. This gathering of the elect is the process of estab- 
lishing the kingdom, and has been going on from the beginning. 
All the processes by which men are brought to the acknowledg- 
ment of Christ and the obedience of the kingdom belong to 
the gathering of the elect. The angels represent the invisible 
heavenly agencies in an earthly event. The introduction of them 
means that there is that invisible, Divine side to a human transac- 
tion. Back of all that men are doing for the conversion of the 
world, is the Lord Christ with the hosts of heaven, see J. i a . 
As for the time, it begins then, at the time of the consummation 
of the Jewish age, because Judaism was the great obstacle at that 
time to the universal spread of the kingdom. Under its influence, 
Christianity threatened to become a mere appendage of Judaism, 
to have the particularism, formalism, and legalism of that religion 
grafted upon it in such a way that it could never become a uni- 
versal religion. With the removal of this obstacle, could begin, 
not the gathering of the elect, but the gathering of them from the 
four quarters of the world, the universal gathering. 

Omit avrov, his, after toi>s 0177^X01/5, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BDL mss. 
Lat. Vet. Omit avrov after iK\eKrovs, Tisch. Treg. (WH.) DL 1, 28, 91 
299, mss. Lat. Vet. Tisch. regards avrov as taken from Mt. 24 31 . 


28. rrjv irapafio\r]v — the parable, the illustration or analogy to 
be drawn from the fig tree, orav ... 6 KAaoos . . . cU-aXo? yiv-qrai 
— whenever its branch has become tender. When the young 
branches, or twigs, that produce the leaves are softened by the 
sap flowing through them. These things are a sign of approach- 
ing summer, and signs are just as reliable in the world of events 
as in the physical world. But they are signs of the same kind. 
Causes are to be found in effects, and effects in causes in both 

29. ovT<0 Kal v/xets — the pronoun is emphatic, distinguishing 
the restricted vtiei?, addressed only to his disciples, from the 
general {yxcts implied in the preceding yivwo-fcerc You know, and 
so does everybody, the natural sign ; and you disciples are to know 
in like manner these signs of coming events. to.vto. — these things, 
the besieging armies, and the sufferings of the siege, see v. 14 . 
iyyvs io-Tiv — it is near; the subject is taken for granted as being 
in all their minds, i-rrl Ovpais — at the doors, sl common figurative 
expression of nearness. 

30. 7} yevea olvttj — this generation. The word is always used 
by Jesus to denote the men living at that time. This use is suffi- 
cient against the supposition that it means the Jewish race, or the 
human race, devices introduced to make it possible to interpret 
the prophecy as applying to the end of the world. But what 
meaning would either have as marks of time for the general wind- 
ing up of human affairs? No, the statement means that these 
events are to take place during the lifetime of Jesus' contempo- 
raries, and the events are, therefore, what the whole prophecy surely 
indicates, those connected with the fall of the Jewish state and 
the destruction of Jerusalem, travra ravra — Here is the answer 
to those who suppose that the prophecy is to be divided into two 
parts, one predicting the Jewish catastrophe, and the other the 
world-catastrophe. All these things, and not the minor part of 
them, are to take place within that generation. 

31. A proverbial statement of the inevitableness of his words. 
The most stable and enduring of all physical things, in fact the 
whole physical frame of things, will pass away, i.e. will perish and 
come to naught ; but his words are imperishable. 

Trape\ev<rovTai, instead of irapeXdwi, Tisch. Treg. WH n BL. Omit m, 
WH. BD*. 

32. 7rcpt Se rfjs Ty/xepas iKetvrjs fj rrj<s wpa<s — Jesus has given them 
the signs by which they may recognize the event when it comes, 
and has told them generally that it will be within that generation, 
but more specifically, the day, or the hour, no one knows. ov8k 
. . . ovSe. The use of ouSe forbids our translating this neither, nor. 
The first means not even and the second nor. ovSe is disjunctive, 
whereas neither, nor, is conjunctive. The preceding verses have 


fixed the time ; this declares it to be unknown. And from this an 
inference has been made favorable to the view that the prophecy 
is divided into two parts, the fixed and near time being assigned 
to the near event, and the unknown time to the far event of the 
general catastrophe. But the conjunction of day and hour in 
the statement serves to call attention to the exact time, and to the 
greater or less approximateness of knowledge which Jesus dis- 
claims in regard to it. This is emphasized, rather than a certain 
period contrasted with another. Moreover, here as elsewhere in 
the discourse, there is an absence of everything to mark off the 
two periods from each other. 

ouSe 6 vto's — This denial of omniscience to the Son has caused 
all manner of theological tinkering. It means, say some, that he 
did not know it on his human side ; or by a refinement, he did 
know it as man, but the knowledge was not derived from his 
human nature, but from the Divine ; or he had no knowledge of 
it that he was authorized to impart, he was not supposed to know 
it ; or the knowledge lay within his reach, but he did not choose 
to take it up into his consciousness ; and some go so far even as 
to make the passage an Arian interpolation. But the statement 
need create no surprise in those who accept the statement of our 
Lord's humanity, especially when it is accompanied by statements 
of this particular limitation of his humanity; cf. Lk. 2 52 Mk. n 1213 . 
ei fxr) 6 Trarrjp — literally, except the Father. This belongs with 
ovSeU otSev, and should follow it immediately — no one knows, 
except the Father. The intervening clauses make an adversative 
statement more normal. This limitation corresponds to what we 
know of the nature of inspiration. It increases human knowledge, 
but does not alter the nature of it. It conveys a knowledge of the 
future as contained in the present, and so an approximate knowl- 
edge of the time, e.g. that the fall of the Jewish nation would 
come in that generation. But it would not enable a man to pre- 
dict the exact time, the day, or the hour. 

V, instead of ical, before rijs wpos, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. ABCEGHK 
LMS 2 UVW b X TAn mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Hard. Omit ol before 4v ovpavf, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. M DK* LUW u, 28, 115, 262, 299, mss. Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 

33. BA.€7r£T€, aypv-rrveire 1 — Take heed, be watchful. This duty 
of watchfulness arises from the uncertainty of the time. Knowl- 
edge of it would leave time for them to be off their guard. 

Omit koX irpoaevxevfe, and pray > Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. marg. BD 
122, mss. Lat. Vet. one ms. Vulg. 

1 iypvnvelre is compounded of a privative and iinvos, and means literally be 
sleepless. This and the parallel passage, Lk. 21 36 , are the only places where the 
word occurs in the Gospels, so that this is another instance of the quite certain 
interdependence of the Synoptical Gospels. 


34. ws avOpuiiros a7r6Sr]p.os . . . /cat t<o Ovpwpw ivere.ika.TO fva yprj- 
yoprj, yp-qyopelre — There is nothing to be supplied before <Ls like 
€<ttiv, but the correlative of ws is yprjyopelre. It reads — As a 
man away from home, having left his house, and having given the 
charge to his servants, also gave orders to the porter to watch, watch 
ye therefore. The full statement of the comparison would be, so 
J say to you, watch. The abruptness of the statement in its pres- 
ent form makes it more forcible. 

Omit Kai before c/cd<rTy, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. « BC* DL 238, 248, 
mss. Lat. Vet. 

rj 6if/i, r) pecrovvKTiov, r) aAeKTopoKJxovLas, 1 r) trpm, — either in the 
evening, or at midnight, or at cock-crowing, or in the morning. 
These words denote the four watches of the night, from six to six. 2 

Insert 77 before dif/t, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL A one ms. Lat. Vet. 
Memph. Hard. marg. /xcctovvktiov, 3 instead of -t'iov, Tisch. Treg. WH. n 

36. /u.77 eXOlav i£a.LCpvr)<; evprj vp,a<; KaOevSovras — lest coming sud- 
denly he find you sleeping. This clause depends on yprjyopeire, 
v. 35 — watch, lest he find you sleeping. The last clause of v. 35 is 

37. o Be. vplv Aeyco, 7rao-t Xeyoi, Yp-qyopelre — and what I say to 
you, I say to all, Watch. What Jesus had said before applied 
especially to the apostles, whose duties, like those of porter in a 
house, required special watchfulness. But in the kingdom of God, 
this watchfulness is required of all, though it is specially necessary 
in those left in charge of things. It is not intended to carry out 
the comparison any further than this, that the apostles, like a door- 
keeper in a house, needed specially to be on the watch. 


XIV. 1-11. The Sanhedrim plan to arrest Jesus stealthily, 
and to put him to death. He is anointed by a woman at 
the house of Simon the leper. Judas conspires with the 
Sanhedtim to deliver him up to them. 

Jesus spends the last two days in Bethany. During his absence, 
the authorities consult about the ways and means of putting him 
to death, and decide to postpone it till after the feast, when the 
people, whom they know to be friendly to Jesus, will have left 
Jerusalem. At some time during these two days, Jesus is enter- 
tained at the house of Simon the leper, and during the supper, a 

1 This word belongs to later Greek. 2 See Thay.-Grm. Lex. aXeierpofavia. 
3 On this use of the ace. to denote approximately the time of an event, see Win. 


woman (John says, Mary, the sister of Lazarus) anoints him with 
a costly ointment, worth upwards of three hundred denaries (shil- 
lings nominally, really more nearly dollars) . Some of those pres- 
ent (Mt. says, disciples) were indignant at this waste. But Jesus 
justifies her act as befitting the time when he is about to be taken 
away, and when the act therefore acquires the unconscious signifi- 
cance of an anointing for his burial. And he prophesies that the 
beauty of the act will keep it alive in the memories of men wher- 
ever the glad tidings is proclaimed. Apparently from this very 
feast, Judas goes to the authorities, and conspires to deliver him 
up to them, causing another change in their plans, so that the 
intended delay till the close of the feast is given up. 

1. to 7ra(7x a xal ra a£v/xa — Both of these words are used 
originally to denote the things entering into the feast of the Pass- 
over, the sacrifice of the paschal lamb and the eating of un- 
leavened bread, and then they came to be used, one or the other, 
to denote the feast itself. The unusual thing here is the use of 
the two terms to denote with fulness the character of the feast 
by the mention of both its characteristic marks. 

This is the first mention of the Passover in connection with 
these events. Probably, it is introduced to explain the conclusion 
of the authorities to postpone the execution of their plot till after 
the feast, as it was only two days to the beginning of it (v. 2 ) . 61 
dp^tepei? KaX ot ypa/Afxareis — the chief priests and the scribes. A 
designation of the Sanhedrim by the two principal classes com- 
posing it. lv SoA.a> — by cunning; not openly. 

2. IXeyoi/ yap — for they said, etc. This is intended to prove 
the preceding statement that they plotted to take him by cunning, 
not openly. The determination not to take him during the Pass- 
over, with the almost necessary publicity which would attend that, 
shows the secrecy which made a part of their plan. M17 lv rrj 
kopTrj — Not during the feast. The reason for this is given in 
what follows. They feared an uprising of the people, whom they 
knew to be favorable to Jesus, especially the Galilean pilgrims, 
and so they postponed their attempt till after the feast, when the 
multitudes attending the feast would be gone, and they could 
accomplish their purpose quietly. This part of their plan they 
gave up afterwards, owing to the opportunity which Judas put in 
their way. ^iroTe co-rat Oopvfios l — lest perchance there shall be 
an uproar" 2, of the people. 

1 On the use of the future with /xrjn-oTe, see Burton, 199. The meaning, lest per- 
chance, belonging to ^ttots in the N.T., is characteristic of later Greek. 

2 eopvfios is used properly of the noise and disturbance of an excited crowd. 


yap, instead of 8e, after eXeyop, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL, mss. 
Latt. Memph. Harcl. marg. 

3. %tau)vos tov \e7rp0v — The circumstances differ too much to 
permit the identification of this anointing with that at the house 
of Simon the Pharisee in Lk. 7 36 " 50 . The points of likeness are 
simply the anointing and the name of the host. But in Lk.'s 
account the salient features are, that the woman was a sinner, that 
Simon was lacking in ordinary courtesy to his guest, and Jesus' 
answer to the charge of permitting such attentions from a woman 
of this character. Here, the extravagance of the act is the thing 
complained of. On the other hand, there is every indication 
that the event is the same as that in J. 12 1 " 8 . The only difference 
is, that the Synoptists (Mt. and Mk.) give the name of the host, 
which is omitted in J., and J., on the other hand, gives the name 
of Mary, and connects her with Lazarus and Martha. But in case 
of the identity of these accounts, there is a difference of four days 
in the time, J. putting it six days before the Passover, and the 
Synoptists two days. This Simon the leper is not mentioned 
elsewhere. Evidently, his leprosy had been healed, and so he 
may have been one of those healed by Jesus, ywr) — J. says that 
this was Mary, the sister of Lazarus. aXafiao-rpov 1 fxvpov vdpSov 
7rtcrrtK^s 7ro\vTe\ovs — an alabaster box of costly ointment of pure 
nard, or spikenard. This word 77-10-1-1/075 has caused much dispute. 
Our English version, spikefiard, comes from the Vulg., nardi spi- 
cati, and that is probably a modification of the Old Latin, nardi 
pistici, which is merely a transliteration of a term which bothered 
the translators. Fritzche and others translate it potable, deriving 
it either from irivoi or TrnrivKui. But while this etymology is defen- 
sible, the word does not occur in that sense. But the word is 
used in the sense of persuasive, or in the latter language, trust- 
worthy, which as applied to things, would come to mean genuine. 
This is, on the whole, the accepted opinion now, being supported 
by Grimm, Robinson, Meyer, DeWette, Morison, and others. 
There was a pseudo-nard, with which the genuine nard was often 
adulterated, rrjs KecpaXrjs — the head. J. says, the feet, following 
in this particular the account of the anointing at the house of 
Simon the Pharisee, Lk. 7 s8 - ^ It is not unlikely, though the two 
events are distinct, that the accounts have become a little mixed. 
o-wTpfyacra tyjv (tov) a\d/3ao-Tpov Kare^ecv avrov rfjs KecpaAr}? — hav- 
ing broken the alabaster box, she poured it upon his head. 

Omit koX before crvvrptyaaa, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n BL 
Memph. rbv before iXipaarpov, Tisch. n* ADEFHKSUVW b X TIL 
tt)v, Treg. WH. n c BCL A. Omit Kara.' 1 before rijs KecpaXijs, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BCL A 1, 28, 435. 

1 The proper form of this word is akaPacrrov, without the p. The usage seems 
to vary between the masc. and fern. 

2 On this omission of Kara after verb compounded with it, see Thay.-Grm. Lex, 


4. yaav Se rives ayavaKrovvres 7rpos eavrov?, Eis ri rf a7rcaActa aur?7 
— And there were some indignant to themselves. — " Why this 
destruction," etc.? 77-06? eavrous means probably that they kept 
their indignation to themselves, though it may mean among them- 
selves, denoting an indignation which they expressed to each 
other. 1 The omission of kcu AcyovTes, and saying, adds to the 
force of the statement, while detracting from its smoothness. 

Omit Kal Xtyovres, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. n BC* L, one ms. Lat. Vet. 

Mt. 26 s says that it was the disciples who expressed this indigna- 
tion. J. says it was Judas Iscariot, and attributes it to his peculat- 
ing habits, which this interfered with. It is a part of J.'s evident 
attempt to belittle Judas. Obviously, the true account is given by 
Mt., who gives us the ugly form of the fact. 

5. h-qvapiw TpiaKocnW — 300 denaries, or shillings. Or, since 
the real value of the denarius at the time was a day's wages, it 
would amount to more than as many dollars. This explains the 
indignation. The act was extravagant, certainly. Here and in 
v. 3 , in the description of the ointment, J. betrays his dependence 
on thr Synoptical source, by the same identity of language which 
shows the interdependence of the Synoptists. ivefipLfxwvTo — were 
very angry? Both of the words used to express their feelings are 
very strong. 

Insert to fitipop, ointment, after tovto, this, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
ABCKLU All, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Hard. marg. 

6. koXqv tpyov ypydcraro ev e/W — it is a good work that she 
wrought on me. KaXov epyov is emphatic, contrasted with their 
depreciation of what she had done. It is not estimated by our 
Lord according t a utilitarian standard, by which it would have 
little or no value. But he was at a crisis of his life when it was 
of the utmost value to him to know that he had won a place in a 
human heart. And for any one to be reckless or even extravagant, 
not calculating, in the expression of this was to him a good turn. 
It was the fragrance of a loving heart that was brought to him by 
the costly nard. Generally, Jesus would have men serve him in 
the persons of his poor. But such a vicarious transfer always in- 
volves reflection, and sometimes spontaneousness is worth more 
than reflection. 

r)pyd<ra.TO, instead of elpy6.aa.T0, Tisch. WH. K* B* D 69, 150. iu e/xoi, 
instead of els ep.4, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. and almost all sources. 

7. 7ravTOTe yap tovs ttto>)(ov<; . . . ifxe he ov 7t<xvtot€. — for the poor 
you have always . . . but me not always? This was the reason, 
not why the woman anointed him, but why such anointing was a 

1 Thay.-Grm. Lex. gives both meanings. 2 See on 1 43 . 3 Deut. 15U. 


good work, which he therefore encouraged. The whole transac- 
tion, as appears also from the 7rpoeAa/?e fxvpio-cu that follows, is 
given a special meaning and value in the mind of Jesus by the 
approach of his death. If it had not been for that, if they could 
have had him always with them, as they had the poor, this 
would not have touched so tender a spot, would not have been so 
good a work on him. ov iravrort is a case of language gaining 
force from extenuated expression. 

8. o eax ev ^ 7r0 ^V a€ — She did what she could. 1 7rpo£Xa/3e /xvpi'crai 
— She anticipated the anointing? This is an unintended meaning 
which the act gains from its place so near our Lord's death. Un- 
consciously, she has rendered to him, while still living, the honors 
of burial. ZvTa<f>iacrp.6v 3 — preparation for burial. J. says, "Suf- 
fer her to keep it for the day of my preparation for burial," 4 a 
decided lowering of the meaning. 

Omit avrr), this {woman), Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. n BL 1, 13, 28, 69, 
209, 346, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Hard, e<rxcv, instead of elx^, Tisch. 
Treg. WH. RV. and most sources. 

9. 'A/JLrjv Se Xiyio vplv, "O-ttov iav K-qpv\6rj to evayyeXiov cts oJW 
tov koct/xov, kcu o iiroirjo-ev avrrj XaXrjOrjaeTai — And verily I say to 
you, Wherever the glad tidings is proclai?ned in all the world, also 
what this woman did will be spoken. Not shall be spoken of, as 
if Jesus meant to procure this mention himself in some way ; but 
will be spoken of, a thing that he foresees. He sees that the 
beauty of this act, unappreciated now by his disciples, is such 
that it will win its way to this universal mention, fxvrjfioo-vvov — 
a memorial? Holtzmann treats the use of evayyiXtov in this verse 
as an instance of the meaning Gospel in the sense of an account 
of Jesus' life. But the use of KrjpvxOrj is against this. 

Insert 5e after 'A/iV, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BDs r EGKLSVWb TAII, 
one vis. Lat. Vet. iav, instead of av, after oirov, Tisch. WH. x ABCLW b X 
TAIL Omit rovro, this, after evayytXiov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BDL 13, 
28, 69, mss. Lat. Vet. 

10. Kcu 'IovSas 'IcrKapiw0 6 . . . a.7rrjX0e 7rpo? tov? ctpx 16 / 36 ^, iva 
avrov -rrapaSot clvtols — And Judas Iscariot . . . went away to the 
chief priests, to deliver him up to them. eU t6jv ouSe^a — one of 
the twelve. This is simply a necessary part of the story, and this 
accounts sufficiently for its insertion, without supposing any rhe- 
torical purpose in the writer. But its effect is tremendous. 

It does not appear from Mk.'s account that there was any con- 
nection between this and the preceding event, as if Judas was led 

1 On the use of e\<a in the sense of possum, see Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

2 Win. 54, 4. 3 a Biblical word. 4 J. 127". 

5 A rare word, found only once besides in the N.T. The occurrence of it 
therefore, here, in both Mt. and Mk., confirms again the interdependence of the 
Synoptics. 6 See on 3 19 . 


by it to what he did, though J. does tell us that Judas was specially 
aggrieved by the waste of the ointment. But the council of the 
Sanhedrim, the feast and the anointing, and the conspiracy of 
Judas, are simply put together as the events of this day. It has 
been assumed that we must find a logical connection of these 
events, and considerable ingenuity has been expended in account- 
ing for the anointing on this ground. But the chronological con- 
nection explains everything. Notice that the chief priests become 
the leading actors in the proceedings against Jesus after his entry 
into Jerusalem, instead of the Scribes. 

Omit 6 before 'lotSas, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x ABCDELM TAIL Omit 
6 before 'IcrKapiwd, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x* BC* D. 'laKapabd, instead 
of -arris, Tisch. WH. x BC* L mss. Lat. Vet. irapadoi, instead of irapadtp, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. BD. 

11. dpyvpiov — money. Mt. mentions the amount as TptaKovra 
apyvpia, thirty shekels, or twenty dollars. For curious parallels to 
this price, see Ex. 21 32 Zech. n 12 , cf. Mt. 27 s . cvkcuows — oppor- 
tunely. Lk. states more exactly how he sought to deliver him up, 
viz. arep cryAou, in the absence of the multitude. 

■n-apadot is substituted for wapadiP in this verse, on the same authority as 


12-16. On the first day of the Passover feast, the disciples 
ask for ins true tiofts in regard to their preparations for the 
Passover meal. Jesus tells two of them to go to the city and 
to follow a man whom they will meet there carrying a jar 
of water. At the house wJiich he enters, they will find the 
owner prepared to show them a large room ready for their 
ptirpose. And there they will prepare for the feast. They 
follow his directions, and find everything as he tells them. 

12. tv} rrpoiTY) r^/xepa tCjv a.t,vp.oiv — the first day of unleavened 
bread. Strictly speaking, the feast did not begin till six o'clock 
of the afternoon, i.e. not until the beginning of the next day, the 
fifteenth of the month. 1 ore to 7rao-;ya tBvov — when they sacrificed 
the paschal lamb. 2 The killing of the paschal lamb was done by 
the priests at the temple, originally by the head of the family. 3 
flc'Aeis €Tot/x,ao-o)/xev — do you wish us to prepare ? 4 This celebration 
of the Passover among themselves, instead of with their families, 

1 Ex. 12 6 . 2 The impf. denotes a customary act. 3 Ex. 12 21 Deut. i65. 

4 On this use of the subj. without iVa after 0eAeiv, see Win. 41 a, 4 b ; Burton, 171. 


shows how their association with Jesus had come to take the place 
of ordinary ties with the twelve. 

13. 8vo ruiv airovToXaiv — Lk. 2 2 8 names Peter and John as the 
two. Kepdfxtov — Etymologically, this word denotes any earthen- 
ware vessel, but in use, it is restricted to a jar or pitcher. It is a 
question, whether this sign of a man bearing a jar of water on his 
head had been prearranged between Jesus and the oikoSco-ttot^s, 
or whether this is an instance of Jesus' supernatural knowledge of 
events. The manner of narration seems to imply that the evan- 
gelist meant us to understand the latter. There can be little 
doubt that the rest of the matter had been arranged with the 

14. oiKoSe(T7roTr7 — master of the house} Uov karri to KaraXvfxd 2 
juov . . . ; Where is my dining room . . . ? 

Insert fxov after KaraXv/xa, Tisch.Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n BCDL 
A i, 13, 28, 69, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Hard. marg. 

15. koX avros v/xiv Setcra dvdyacov 3 /aeya iarpw/xevov Iroifxov ' Kal 
iKel cTot/xacrare rjfuv — and he will show you a large upper room 
furnished and ready; and there prepare for us. 

ia-rpoy/xivov — spread or strewn. It is used of making up a 
bed or couch, and here of making up, or furnishing a room with 
couches. /ecu CK€t eTOt^tacrare — Kal connects eroip-do-aTe with imd- 
yere, aKoXovOyaare, and etVare. 

dvdyaiov, instead of dvdyeov, Tisch.Treg. WH. n AB * CDEFGHKLPV 
II. Insert Kal before e/cet, Tisch. Treg. WH. N BCDL 346, two mss. Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. 

Kat i$rj\6ov ol puxOrjTat, Kal y\0ov — And the disciples went out, 
and came. 

Omit avrov, his, after \xaQi\rai, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. xBLA Egyptt. 


17-21. As they were reclining at the Passover meal, 
Jesus announces that one of them, a disciple who eats with 
him, and is near enough to dip into the same dish with him, 
will deliver him up to the authorities. This is only foil- 
filling his destiny, but just the same it is woe to the man 
who betrays him. He had better never have been born. 

1 The common Greek usage separates this word into its parts, oIkov Seo-n-orTj. 

2 Ka.Ta\vixa is etymologically, a place to relax ; hence an inn, or a dining-room. 
The word belongs to Biblical Greek. See Thay.-Grm. Lex., KaraKva (c). 

8 This word is variously Spelled — avayator, avutyatov, avwyeov, avwyews, avwyewv. 

But these are all variant readings, as here. Liddell & Scott, ivujyeoy. 


18. 7ra/3aSwo-« — will deliver up, to the authorities. The word 
for betrayal is 7rpo8iSoVai. 6 eor&W /xer' ipoy — he who eateth with 
me. This is not a specification of the one of the twelve who was 
to do the deed, but of that which he does in common with the 
rest. It is this which has led to the reading twv eo-0ioVrwv, WH. 
marg. This is shown first, by the act itself, as they all ate with 
him ; and secondly, by the questions which follow, which show 
that the traitor is still unknown. The designation points out not 
the traitor, but the treachery of the act. 1 

tQ>v eadibvTuv, {one of you) who eat, instead of 6 iaQlup, {one) who eats, 
WH. marg. B Egyptt. 

19. *Hp£avTO XvirexaOat, kcll Aeyciv avrw ets Kara cts, 2 Mt/ti eyoii ; 3 
— And they began to grieve, and to say to him, one by one, Is it I? 

Omit Ot 8e at beginning of verse, Tisch. Treg. WH. x BL Memph. Kara, 
instead of nad\ before els, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BL A. Omit /ecu &\\os, Mttjti 
iy<b ; and another, Is it I? Tisch. Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n BCLP 
A, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Egyptt. Syrr. 

20. 'O Se €L7T€v clvtois, Ets twv 8(i)8eKa, 6 ifxfiaTTTOfxevos [act c/xov 
ei? to rpvfiXtov 4 — And he said to them, One of the twelve, who 
dips with me in the dish. This comes nearer to pointing out the 
betrayer than the preceding 6 eVfliW /xtr i^ov, as this would be 
shared in only by those in his immediate vicinity. It adds to the 
sitting at table with him, nearness to him at the table. Mk. and 
Lk. do not relate that the traitor was more closely indicated than 
this. Mt., on the other hand, says that Judas was told himself that 
he was the betrayer. And in Mt., the 6 Zfxftdxf/as . . . ouro? is 
evidently intended to point him out to the rest, by indicating the 
one who dipped his hand into the dish with Jesus at a particular 
time. This difference between the two accounts is evidently 
intentional. Mk. does not mean to indicate the traitor, but only 
to emphasize the treachery of the act. Mt. means to relate the 
discovery of the betrayer. The individual handling of common 
material is evident. rpv/3\tov is the dish containing the sauce of 
figs, dates, almonds, spice and vinegar, which is called in the 
Mishna norin, charoseth. 

: v -: ' 

Omit awoKpiOels, answering, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL, mss. Lat. 
Vet. Egyptt. Pesh. Omit ck before tQv 5c65e/ca,Tisch. (Treg. marg) WH. 
n BCL 38, 60, 78, 127, Egyptt. 

21. on 6 (xev vtos tov avOpwirov virayu — because the Son of Man 
goes. This confirms the statement of the betrayal by that of his 

1 Cf. PS. 4 l9. 

2 On this construction, common in later Greek, see Thay.-Grm. Lex. ets, 4c; 
Win. 37, 3. 3 On the distinction between ^-q and /i^n, see on 4 21 . 

4 Both enfiairTonevos and rpvfiklov in this statement occur only in this account in 
the N.T., and their use by both Mt. and Mk. is thus another strong confirmation 
of the interdependence of the Synoptics. 

XIV. 21, 22] THE LORD'S SUPPER 263 

departure from this world, doubt of which would render the other 
doubtful. It is the general fact, the admission of which opens 
the way for belief in the betrayal. 

Insert 6ti, because, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. n BL Egyptt. 

kolOios yiy pairrai irepl avrov — As it is written of him. Lk. says, 
Kara to wpio-fxevov — according to the decree. The O.T. prophecy 
to this effect is Is. 53. The primary reference of the passage is 
to the suffering servant of Yahweh, who is defined in the prophecy 
itself to be the righteous Israel. But, as in the case of many of 
these prophecies, the principle involved makes it applicable to the 
fate of our Lord. This principle, that it is the fate of righteous- 
ness to suffer in this evil world, makes Jesus predict also the per- 
secution of his followers as well as of himself. The O.T. prophets, 
himself, and his followers are involved in a like fate, oval 8e — 
but ivoe. This is not a malediction, in the sense of a wish or 
prayer that this vengeance may follow the traitor, but a solemn 
announcement of the Divine judgment. It differs in this respect 
from the comminatory Psalms. 

6 vtos tov dv6pu)7rov v-irdyeL — 6 vio? tov dvOponrov TrapahLhorai — 
oval T(p avOpuyjrio e/cctvo) — ei ovk iyevvrjOt] 6 avQpuiTros e/cctvo? — The 
Son of Man goes — The Son of Man is delivered up — woe to that 
man — if that man had not been born. The repetition of the title 
6 vi6s tov avOpuiwov is emphatic, and serves to bring it into tragic 
conjunction with 7rapa8i8oTai. 6 av0p<o7ros €K€tvo<; is repeated on 
the same principle, and with the same effect. Kakov clvtw, ei ovk 
eyevvrjOrj — well for him, if ' . . . had not been born. This puts the 
condition in the past, and the conclusion in the present. The ex- 
pression is evidently rhetorical, rather than exact. 

Omit ^v, it would be, after Ka\bv, Tisch. (Treg. tnarg.) WH. RV. BL, 
mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 


22-25. In the course of the Passover meal, Jesus takes a 
portion of the bread from the table, and gives it to the dis- 
ciples after the ordinary blessing or giving of thanks, saying, 
This is my body. And the cup of wine he blessed in the 
same way, and gave it to them, saying, This is my blood of 
the covenant, which is poured out for many. This is the 
last time, he says, that he will drink with them, until they 
share with him the new wine of the kingdom. 

22. Kat icrOiovTw aviw — And as they were eating. In the 
course of the meal, therefore. But none of the evangelists state 


the time more exactly. Xafiiov apTov cvXoyrjaas eKXacre — he took 
bread, and having blessed he broke it. The object of evXoyrjaas 
may be God, in which case, it means having praised, its ordinary 
sense ; or it may be the bread, in which case, it means, having 
invoked a blessing on; a Biblical use. The former meaning is 
suggested by the use of e.vyapio-Ty]o~a.% in Lk. 22 19 , and 1 Cor. n 24 . 
As a matter of fact, the invocations at meals among the Jews in- 
termingled thanksgiving and blessing. XafttTe, tovto ian to awjua 
fxov. Lk. adds t6 v-rrep vp.Q)v SiSo/xcvoi/, which is given for you, and 
1 Cor. the same without StSo/xevov. Both add tovto ttolutc eh 1-7)1/ 
ip,rjv avdp.vr}CTLv. As to the meaning of the words, this is my body, 
it is enough to say that any insistence on their literal meaning is 
entirely contrary to linguistic laws and usage. They may mean, 
this rep?-ese?its my body, just as well as, this is literally my body. 
Meyer refers for examples of this use of ctvat to Lk. 12 1 — the 
leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy; J. io 7 — / am the 
door of the sheep ; 14 6 — / am the way, the truth, and the life ; 
Gal. 4 24 — these (two sons of Abraham) are two covenants ; Heb. 
io 20 — -the veil, that is his flesh. But it is useless to multiply in- 
stances of so common and evident a usage. And yet, the one 
that evidently disproves the literal meaning, not merely establish- 
ing the possibility of the symbolic use here, but making the literal 
meaning impossible, is right at hand. For in the account of the 
consecration of the cup, Lk. 22 20 , 1 Cor. n 25 , it reads tovto to 
rroTrjpiov r) Kaivrj SiaOyjKr] iv tcu olp,o.Ti /xov, This Clip is the new 
covenant in my blood. No one would contend for the literalness 
of the language in this case, and yet it is perfectly evident that the 
copula is used in the same sense in both cases, giving the meaning 
of the bread in the one case, and of the cup in the other, but 
not saying that the bread is actually flesh, nor the cup a covenant. 
All this without taking into account our Lord's manner of speech. 
We have some right to judge what any person says in a particular 
case by his habit of thought and speech. This warrants us in 
saying that the literal meaning is impossible to Jesus. It would 
pull down all that he had been at pains to set up throughout his 
ministry — a spiritual religion. 

Omit 6 'Ir)o-ovs, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. N a BD, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. 
Omit <pdyeT€, eat, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCDKLM* PU II I, mss. Lat. 
Vet. Vulg. Egyptt. 

23. koll Xa/Siov -noT-qpiov — And having taken a cup. evyapio-- 
Trjaas — having given thanks. Like evXoyrjaas, v. 22 , it denotes 
some form of thanksgiving for the good things of God. 

Omit to, the, before iroT^piov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDLW b X A I, 
11, 13, 28. 

24. Tovto co-ti to alpd fxov tt)s 8ia.6r]Kr)<s — this is my blood of the 
covefiant. hia6r)Krj in classical Greek means a will, or testament. 

XIV. 24, 25] THE LORD'S SUPPER 265 

But in the N.T., the only examples of this use are in Heb. 9 1617 , 
where by a play upon the double meaning of the word, the writer 
justifies his statement that a covenant (BLaOrjKrj) is ratified by 
blood by showing that a testament (oW^kt/) comes into force only 
with the death of the testator. Everywhere else it has the purely 
Biblical and ecclesiastical meaning, a covenant. These words, the 
blood of the covenant, are borrowed from the institution of the 
Law, regarded as a covenant between God and the Jews (Ex. 24 s , 
Lev. 1 7 11 ) . Moses sprinkled the people with the blood of sacri- 
fice, as a seal of the covenant between God and them in the 
giving of the Law. And now, the new covenant, see Lk. 22 20 
1 Cor. 11 25 , in which the law is written in the heart, Jer. 31 31 " 35 , is 
established, and that is sealed with the blood of him who died to 
bring it about. It is through his blood that the law of God is 
written inwardly in the heart, and so it becomes the blood of the 
new covenant, to €Kyyv6[x£vov v-rrkp 7roAAa»i/ — which is poured out 
for many. This fixes the sacrificial meaning of the flesh and 
blood. The pouring out of the blood signifies a violent death, 
and v-n-kp 7roAAwv denotes that this death was suffered in behalf of 
others, v-n-ep may be used to express the vicarious idea, instead 
of, but it does not necessitate it, as olvtc does. Christ leaves this 
whole question of the exact part played by his death quite open. 
He does not anticipate any of the later lines of N.T. treatment of 
this subject. But one more element needs to be considered in 
estimating the meaning of the Eucharist, as it came from the 
hands of our Lord. The bread and wine were to be eaten and 
drunk. The meaning is thus a partaking of the Lord, the feeding 
of our spirit with the crucified Jesus. That is to say, it is Jesus 
our life, rather than the externally atoning aspect of his death, 
that is imparted to us in the sacrament (cf. J. 6 ). 

Jesus' use of the language of sacrifice in connection with his 
death does not indicate that he means to give to that death the 
current idea of sacrifice, but that he means to illumine the idea 
of sacrifice by his own death. As if he had said, " Here is the 
true meaning of sacrifice." The Gospels do not give us any com- 
mand for the repetition of the supper, nor for its continuance as a 
church institution. That is implied in 1 Cor. n 25 . 

Omit rb before rrjs ( K aivi}s) Siad^Krjs, Tisch. WH. RV. n BCD 2 ELVW b X 
11, 157. Omit Katvijs, new, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL, one tns. Lat. 
Vet. Memph. ed - Theb. v-nkp, instead of irepl, before iroWuv, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BCDL A 13, 69, 124. 

25. yevTy/xaTOS rov dfnri\ov — fruit of the vine. 

yevrniaros, instead of yepp^/xaTos, Tisch. Treg. WH. x ABCEFHLMSU 
VW b X AIT. The form ytv-rj/xa is rare, not occurring outside of Biblical 
Greek, and yewfmaTos becomes thus an obvious correction. 


Co? rrjs ij/oitpas iiuivrp orav etc. — #»#/ that day when I drink it 
new in the kingdom of God. Lk. 22 15 " 18 makes Jesus say this in 
general of the Passover meal at the beginning, before the institu- 
tion of the sacrament, kcuvov is not the word for new wine, for 
which viov is used, but Kaivov denotes a new kind of wine. In the 
making of all things new, the dvaKcu'voxn?, there is to be a new 
festal meeting and association of Christ and his disciples, a realiza- 
tion of these earthly feasts and symposia, which are brought to an 
end in this last supper. There is thus a note of sadness, a word 
of breaking up, closing these human associations, but a more 
solemn note of gladness, looking forward to the new spiritual 
associations and joys of the Messianic kingdom. 


26-31. After singing the Hallel, they go out to the Mount 
of Olives. On the way, Jesus warns the disciples that they 
will all fall away from him that night. He quotes a pas- 
sage fro7n Zechariah, showing that scattering of the sheep 
follows the smiting of the shepherd. After his resurrection, 
he tvill go before them into Galilee. Peter protests that he 
at least will not prove unfaithful, whereupon Jesus predicts 
that before the second crowing of the cock, he will deny him 
thrice. Peter again protests vehemently that he will sooner 
die with him, than deny him, and the rest of the disciples 
join him. 

26. vfxvrjo-avres — The hymn sung by the Jews at the Passover 
supper was the Great Hallel, consisting of Ps. 11 3-1 18, 136. It 
was the second part of this, 11 5-1 18, according to the school of 
Shammai 11 4-1 18, which they sang at this time, after the Pass- 
over meal, to opos twv cAatW — the name of the hill covered 
with olives, lying east of Jerusalem, and about half a mile from the 

27. "On 7ravT€s (TKavhaXtaeaOe ' 1 on yiypairraL, Hara^co tov ttol- 
fxiva, /cat ra 7rp6(3ara hiaaKopirKrOrjaovTai — All of you tvill fall 
away. For it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep 
will be scattered. The quotation is from Zech. 13. In the 
original, it reads, smite the shepherd. But since it is Jehovah who 
invokes the sword against the shepherd in the original, this 7raTa£a> 

1 See on 4 17 . 


renders the sense of the passage. The whole passage in the 
original is involved in obscurity, but there is the same indication 
as in all the O.T. prophecies of the application to an immediate, 
and not a remote future ; cf. v. 8 . The application to this event in 
the life of Jesus is because the relation between shepherd and 
sheep leads to the same result in both cases. Probably the shep- 
herd in Zech. is the king, and the sheep are the people. 

Omit iv ifwi, because of me, after <TKav8a\L<re<rde, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BC* DHLSVW b X TAIP, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. edd -. Omit ev ttj 
pvkti Tai/TTj, this night, about the same. 5i.a<rKopirt.<rdr)<TovTa.i, instead of 
-o-ercu, Tisch. Treg. WH. x ABCDFGKLN A. 

28. iyepOrjvai — this is the common word for the resurrection, 
but it acquires here a special meaning from the preceding nara^a), 
denoting his rising from the earth to which he has been smitten. 
7rpod$(D — this word also gets its special sense here from the figure 
of the sheep and shepherd. He will go before them, as a shep- 
herd leads his flock, i.e. he will resume toward them his office of 
shepherd, and go before them to the familiar scenes of his earthly 
ministry. See J. io 4 . The fact that there is no appearance to 
the disciples in Galilee in Mk. 16 9 " 20 , in connection with this pre- 
diction, is one of the conclusive proofs that that passage is from 
another hand. 

29. Ei kolL 7ravT€s (TKav&a\i(r6r)(T0VTai, aXX' ovk eyw — Even if all 
fall away, yet not I. Strictly speaking, d ko.1 does not strengthen 
the statement as much as Kai el. But the difference is too minute 
for a style like that of the N.T. Greek. 1 

Et' Kai, instead of Kai ei, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCGL 1, 13, 69. 

30. otl av (rrifxepov ravrr) rrj vvktl, trplv r) Sis aXeKTopa <pu>vr)<Tai, 
rpis /xe aTTapvr}(rri — that you to-day, this night, before the cock crows 
twice, will thrice deny me. Peter in his boast emphasizes the 
7ravT€s. Jesus in his rebuke emphasizes the arv — you who feel so 
confident. Peter had singled himself out as the one to be faithful 
in the midst of general defection. Jesus singles him out as the 
one out of them all to deny him. arjpLepov ravrr} rfj wktl — to-day , 
this night, the very day in which you have shown such self-con- 
fidence. Sis aXeKTopa (fxavrjaai — This is the only gospel in which 
this Si? occurs, both in the prediction of Jesus, and in the account 
of the denials. Those two fatal cock-crowings had stuck in Peter's 
memory, and so find their way into the Gospel which gets its in- 
spiration from him. <f>(Dvr}aat — this is a general word for sounds 
of all kinds. But the instances are rare in profane authors of its 
use for animal cries, airapvrjcrri — thou wilt deny. As applied to 
persons, it means denial of acquaintance or connection with them. 

l See Thay.-Grm. Lex. d, III. 6, 7. 

268 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XIV. 31, 32 

Insert <rv before afoepo v, Tisch. Treg. WH. ABEFGHKLMNSUVW b X 
Til, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Egyptt. Syrr. Tavrij rrj vvkti, instead of kv 
rrj vvktI Tatry, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL, mss. Lat. Vet. 

31. 6 Se cKTrcpto-o-co? iXdXec — But he spoke with utter vehemence. 
7repL<T<TU)q by itself means inordinately, and is used of anything that 
exceeds bounds. Ik adds to it the sense completely, utterly} 

eKirepuraQs, instead of e/c Trepurvov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BCD 56, 58, 
61. i\d\ei, instead of ZXeye, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL, mss. Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. Omit fj.d\\ov, more, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL, mss. Lat. Vet. 
Vulg. Egyptt. Hard. 

wcrcurrws 8c kcu 7ravTcs lAcyov — and so said also all. Peter, 
according to this, did not occupy a singular position, but simply 
took his place of leader and spokesman, speaking out what was 
in the minds of all, to which they all assented. 


32-42. Jesus comes with his disciples to Gethsemane, an 
olive orchard on the western slope of the Mount of Olives. 
Here he leaves the rest of them, and retires with Peter, 
James, and John, to pray. Beginning to be oppressed with 
the approaching trial \ he bids them watch, and retires still 
further, zvhere he prays that his impending fate may be 
averted, submitting himself, however, to the Divine will. 
Returning to the three disciples, he finds them asleep, and 
again bids them watch, adding as a reason this time that 
they themselves need to pray that they may be delivered from 
temptation. A second time, he prays, and returns to find 
them sleeping. The third time, finding them still asleep, he 
bids them at first sleep on ; and then announces the approach 
of the betrayer. 

32. x w P^ ov — a diminutive from x^P a > denoting a small enclo- 
sure, a field. TeBa-qfxavet — Greek form of a Hebrew name, 
meaning oil-press. It indicates that the place was an olive orchard, 
with an oil-press as one of the appurtenances, like a sugar house 
in a maple grove. J. 18 1 locates it on the farther side of the brook 
Kedron. KaOicrare. u>Se — sit here. The scene was one of those 
sacred things in a man's life, in which his best instincts bid him 
be alone. The other cases in our Lord's life of which we are told 

1 eK/repio-ffdK occurs only here. 


were the temptation, the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and 
the transfiguration. Peter, James, and John were taken nearer to 
the scenes of his soul's wrestling with impending fate, but even 
they were to remain outside, and watch. 

Teda-qnaveL, instead of Tedo-rjfj.avri, Tisch. WH. (Treg. -vet) n ABCDEFG 

33. Kat 7rapaAa/u/?ai/ci tov Herpov kcu 'Likoj/^ov kcu 'Icoavv^y fter' 
avrov — And he takes with him Peter, and James, and John. 

Omit tov before 'UkuPov, Tisch. Treg. WH. marg. x CDEFGHMNSU 
VW b X TAII 2 . per' avrov, instead of fxe6' eavrov, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BCD 
57, 69, 346. 

34. iKOafxfiuaQai kcu dSrjfxovelv — to be utterly amazed and troubled. 
One derivation makes aSrjfxovdv from aS^uo?, homesick, and the 
other from dSeiv, to be sated. Either derivation makes it very 
expressive. The strong statement of his amazement opens before 
us a curious problem. His fate, as he comes to face it, is not 
only troubling, but amazing. His rejection by men, their fierce 
hatred of him, his isolation of spirit, even among his own — all 
these things coming to the Son of Man, the lover of his kind, 
whose whole life was wrought by love into the fibre and tissue of 
the common human life, and was individual in no sense — amazed 
him utterly. 7repiAv7ros — e7icompassed by grief, cos Savdrov — 
unto death. My sorrow is killing me, is the thought ; it is crushing 
the life out of ?ne. koX yp-qyopdre — and watch. It is possible to 
take these words in a merely external sense. He knew that his 
enemies were at hand, and he might want some one to be on the 
watch for them. But it seems more probable that, as Mt. puts it 
(26 38 ), he wanted them to watch with him, to share his vigil, not 
against human foes, but against the flood of woes overwhelming 
his soul. If possible, he would have companionship in his extreme 
hour. See also v. 38 . 

35. fj wpa — the hour ; the time used for the event with which 
it was big. There is a theologizing attempt to minimize it, as if it 
referred not to the sacrificial death, which our Lord had no desire 
to escape, but to the unnecessary incidents of it, from the denial 
by Peter, and the betrayal by Judas, to the crucifixion itself, as if 
these were not the very things that made his death sacrificial. It 
was the bitterness put into death by human sin that gave it its 
significance as a sin-offering, d SwaroV ian — if it is possible. 
This possibility is limited only by the accomplishment of his work. 
If it is possible for him to do his work of redemption without that 
sacrificial death, he would escape that tragic fate. But it is not 
the bitterness of death itself, nor even the agonies of crucifixion, 
that he would escape, but the bitterness poured into it by the sin 
of men, which makes his cross to be the place where all the horror 


of sin gathered itself together to strike him down, and made his 
torn and bleeding heart to become then and there the sin- bearer 
for the race. 

eirurrev, instead of iireaev, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. n BL Memph. 

36. 'A/?/?a 6 irarrip. This combination of the Greek and 
Hebrew words would not of course appear in the speech of 
our Lord, who used only the Hebrew. Neither is the 6 7rarrjp 
explanatory of the \A.#/?a, as the Evangelists employ for this the 
formulas, o ian fieOepfirjvevofievov, or simply o «m, Mt. I 23 27 s3 
Mk. 3 17 5 41 15 1634 . But this is a combination of the two, belonging 
to the later usage, and put here by the evangelist into the mouth 
of Jesus. 7ravTa Swarc <toi — all things are possible to thee. Here 
the condition, if it is possible, is changed into the statement, all 
things are possible to thee, and so, as for the matter of possibility, 
the prayer is left unconditioned, remove this cup from me. But 
the condition is made now the will of God. This is Jesus' wish 
and prayer, to have the cup removed. But, after all, he knows 
that not His will, but that of the Father, will be carried out, and 
with that he is content. 

37. kox ipx^rai — and he comes. Jesus is not concerned about 
himself alone in this critical hour, but about his disciples as well. 
And so he interrupts even this agony of prayer, in order to see 
after their watchfulness. This is the one attitude of mind neces- 
sary in them from this time on, — see his prophetic discourse, 
ch. 13, — and now, in the crisis of his fate and theirs, he is 
anxious to impress the lesson on them. He has just predicted 
that they will desert him, and that Simon will deny him this very 
night. But this prediction, like all prediction, is intended to 
avert whatever evil it foretells. If it could only become a warning 
to them, they would be aroused past all danger of sleeping, and 
might have watched past all danger of desertion and denial. 

38. yprjyopfxre kol TrpoaevxcaOe, Xva. p.rj iXB-qre cis Treipaoyxov 1 — 
watch and pray, that you come not into temptation. In v. 34 , he has 
enjoined watching on them in connection with his own awful sor- 
row. Now, without emphasizing the change, he enjoins it as 
necessary for themselves. And so, now he adds prayer, and 
makes the object of both to be, that they enter not into tempta- 
tion. The temptation is located not in external conditions, which 
constitute only a trial or test, but in the internal conditions, the 
evil desires of the heart, the weakness of the flesh. The outward 
attack on their steadfastness was right on them, and was not to be 
averted. They were to pray that this might not be an occasion 
of inward weakness, which would lead them into sin. To pkv 

1 netpaanov is a Biblical word. 


TTveviui. irpoOvfiov, 17 Se crkpi acrOtvrjs — The spirit is willing, but the 
flesh is weak. The irvevfxa and the adpi are not contrasted else- 
where in this Gospel, nor in the teachings of Jesus. They denote 
the two extremes of human nature, -n-vevfia being the highest word 
used to describe the spiritual part of man, and hence, where dis- 
tinctions are made within the soul itself, being the word used to 
denote the higher part ; and <rdp£ being used to denote the animal 
nature with its passions, and hence everything that belongs to the 
lower nature, everything that is debased and weak, whether pro- 
ceeding from the flesh or not. The two terms cover much the 
same ground in this popular use as our terms higher and lower 
nature. Jesus is not pleading this as an excuse for his disciples' 
sleepfulness, but as a reason why they should watch and pray. 
The spirit is 7rp66vp.ov, eager, ready, to stand by me, even to death, 
as you have just shown in your protestations ; but the flesh is 
weak, the lower nature fears death and danger, and that exposes 
you to temptation. 

e\dr)Te, instead of ei<y4\6rjTe, enter, Tisch. WH. n * B 346, one ms. Lat. 

39. tov avrbv \6yov — the same word, \6yov is used here col- 
lectively of the language used by Jesus in his prayer. Mt. 
changes the prayer here, making it one of submission. Father, 
if it is not possible that this cup pass from me, except I drink it, 
thy will be done. 

40. kgu 7raXtv i\6uiv evpcv avrovs KaOevftovras ' rfcrav yap avTiov 01 
6<p0a\p.ol Ka.Tal3apvv6p.evoi 1 — and again, having come, he found 
them sleeping; for their eyes were {being) weighed down. The 
present part, KaTafiapvv6p.€.voL denotes the process, not the com- 
pleted state. Kal ovk rj$ei<rav — this belongs with the principal 
clause, not with the subordinate introduced by yap. He foimd 
them sleeping ; for their eyes were heavy ; and they knew not what 
to reply to him. So in the AV. and the RV., though the Greek is 
pointed the other way. Both their shame and their drowsiness 
would make them dumb. 

Kara^apvvSfiepoi., instead of ^e^api)p.hoi, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n c 
ABKLNU An* 1, n, 13, 69, 106. 

41. KaOevSere to \0L7rbv k. avairavecrOe — sleep on now, and rest. 
This is a free, but not at all a bad translation. On expresses 
very well the meaning of the pres. imp., which does not command 
the beginning of an action, but the continuance of an action 
already begun, to Xonrbv means the rest of the time, and is con- 
trasted with the preceding time, when he has bidden them keep 
awake. Now is thus not a bad translation of it. As for the feel- 

1 Ka.TaPapvv6fi.evoi. is found only here in the N.T., and is rare in Greek writers. 


ing with which Jesus would say this, it is impossible to keep out 
of it a certain kind of sad bitterness, an^u — it is enough. 1 This 
meaning is found in only one, possibly two other passages. But 
the other meaning, to be distant, is always used with some measure 
of distance. Morison supposes that the English version dates 
from the Vulgate, and that most everybody who has adopted it, 
has taken it from the Latin without much thought. But where 
did the Vulg. get it, and how does it happen that a mere hit, like 
that, should be justified by two recondite passages? It is shown 
to be a meaning of the word, it fits here, and it does not have 
against it the objection that Morison's own translation has. This 
apparently abrupt disturbance of their sleep after he had just told 
them to sleep, would imply that there was some time between it 
and that permission. r)\6ev y wpo. — literally, the hour came. The 
hour is that of the delivering up of the Son of Man, the announce- 
ment of which immediately follows. 7rapa8i8orai — is delivered 
up? The word for betrayal, 7rpoSi8oVcu, is not used anywhere in 
connection with this event, rdv a/uapTwAwv — the sinners. The 
article denotes the class, not individuals of the class. The signal 
thing about the career of Jesus had been his non-assumption of 
the power associated with his position, while yet he claimed to be 
the Messianic king ; not simply a king, but the ideal king. And 
it seemed to be a sufficient answer to his claims to be a king, 
that he was not a king. But so far, he had at least kept out of 
the hands of his enemies, owing to their fear of the people and of 
Jesus' influence over them. Now, the crisis of his fate had come ; 
the hour had struck ; and the Son of Man, personating as he does 
in the prophecy, the kingdom of the saints of the Most High, an 
everlasting kingdom, and an endless dominion, is actually to be 
delivered up into the hands of the opposing party, the sinners. 
To our ears, it has a familiar sound, and we are accustomed to 
the whole train of ideas associated with it. But to the disciples, 
it must have sounded like the stroke of doom. And Jesus does 
not even try to escape it ; he goes forth to meet his fate. 


43-52. The party that captured Jesus is represented as a 
crowd from the Sanhedrim armed with swords and clubs. 
Judas had given them a sign by which they would recognize 

1 Thay.-Grm. Lex. 

2 The pres. used to denote a certain future event. In this case, it is actually 
beginning with the advent of his captors, v. 48 . 


Jesus, arranging that the one to whom he gave the kiss of 
salutation they were to take and hold fast. This meant 
simply that the one whom he saluted as master was the 
leader whom they were sent out to capture, and this pro- 
gramme was carried out. One of the disciples {John says, 
Peter), not yet convinced that all was lost, and carrying out 
his purpose to die with his lord, if necessary, drew his 
szuord, and with a random blow cut off the ear of the high 
priest's servant. But Jesus says to his captors, Why do 
you use force against me, as if I were a highwayman ? 
Why did you not take me quietly when I was teaching 
every day in the temple ? But this treatment of me as a 
malefactor is only a fulfilment of the fate marked out for 
me by the Scriptures. At this, the disciples, seeing that 
Jesus does not mean to defend himself, and in that the 
destruction of all their hopes, forsook him and fled. One, 
however, a young man, who had been roused from his bed 
by the tumult, and had thrown a sheet about him, was taken 
by them, and escaped only by leaving the sheet in their 

43. /cat evQvs, eri avrov XaAovvros, irapayCvtraL 'IouSas (6 'Icr/capt- 
wT7/s), els to)v SwSe/ca, /cat fier avrov o^Aos p,era p.axatpwi/ /cat £v\o)v, 
irapa ru>v dpx^peW Ka ' T ^ v ypauuaTeeov /cat (raw) 7rpecr/Ji>Tepw — 
And immediately, while he was still speaking, there comes a crowd 
with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, and the scribes, and 
{the) elders. 

Insert 6 'lo-Kapubrtis after TotfSas, Tisch. (Treg.) ADKMUW b II Latt. 
Syrr. Omit wv, being, after els, one, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N ABCDKLN 
SUW b n Latt. Egyptt. Pesh. Omit iro\i>s, great, after tfxXos, crowd, Tisch. 
Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. N BL 13, 69, mss. of Latt. Egyptt. Pesh. 
Omit Tuiv, the, before irpeafivTeptav, elders, Tisch. n* AU I, 69, 115, 131, 
251, 282, 346, Orig. 

cts Twv SwSeKa — one of the twelve. This is repeated from v. 10 , 
to keep this tragic element of the situation before us. oxXos — 
a crowd. The apprehending force is shown by this word ox^os 
to have been of the nature of a mob, an irregular and unorganized 
force. J. 18 s , on the contrary, says that it was the (nrCtpa, the 
Roman cohort, or a detachment representing it, under the com- 
mand of the chiliarch, its commanding officer, together with the 
official attendants of the Sanhedrim, ap^tcpewv . . . ypa/xp-areW 


. . . 7rp€cr/3uTepa)v — chief priests, scribes, elders. This is the com- 
plete designation of the Sanhedrim by the classes composing it. 

44. a-vva-rjfxov 1 — a sign between them, a. concerted signal. The 
need of this does not appear, as Jesus was a well-known figure. 
But in the darkness and confusion, there was the possibility of 
escape, and there was an evident desire to make everything sure. 
ov av <t>L\rjo-<D — This sign given by Judas had nothing unusual 
about it, but was the ordinary form of salute. Kpar-qaart avrov k. 
aTrdyere ao-<f>a\uv> — These directions were given by Judas to the 
crowd of which he had constituted himself the leader. do-^aAws 
— securely, giving no chance for escape. Judas, having once 
entered into this affair, did not want a fiasco made of it. The 
motives of Judas in this extraordinary treachery are difficult to 
understand. In judging of them, we have to remember that he 
was one of the twelve chosen by Jesus to be his most intimate 
companions, and we must not undervalue that choice by ascribing 
to Judas motives of such utter and irredeemable vileness as would 
make him an impossible companion for any decent person. It 
may be that he had for his purpose in this extraordinary move to 
force Jesus to assume the offensive against his enemies. This is, 
at least, vastly more probable than the mercenary motive hinted 
at in the Fourth Gospel. But, whatever his motive, whether he 
actually turned against Jesus, or only seemed to, in order to 
compel him to assume his power, he would want to make sure 
that his plan succeeded. 

dirdyere, instead of dwaydyere, Tisch. Treg. WH. x BDL 28, 40, 69. 

45. iXOiov . . . 7rpo(re\0iov — having come, he came up to. The 
first of these participles denotes an act precedent to that of the 
principal verb and the other participle taken together. 2 Kare- 
<pi\r)<rev — he kissed. The prep, denotes a certain profuseness in 
the act. 3 

46. Oi 8c i-TrifioXav ra<s x"p a ? avra» — And they laid their hands 
on him. 

iire(3a\av, instead of -\ov, Tisch. WH. n B. tcls xetpas airr<£, instead of 
e7r' airbv ras x«P as avrdv, Tisch. Treg. WH. N c BDL I, 1 1, 13, 69, 118, 
346, mss. Lat. Vet. 

47. EI? 8c. It is probable that the numeral is used here, as it is 
commonly, to call attention to the number, not like the indefinite 
tis. The probability of this is increased if ti? is retained in the 
text. Only one of the disciples resorted to this extreme action, 
involving, as it did, a certain courage, and also blindness. There 
was in it also an element of tentativeness, an initiative, in which 
all the prejudices of the disciples pointed to success, but in which 
the words of the Master must have raised bewilderment and doubt. 

1 A word belonging to Biblical Greek. 2 Win. 45, 3 b. 3 Thay.-Grm. Lex. 


Lk. 2 2 49 says that the disciples generally asked if they should 
strike with the sword, and that one of them, without waiting for 
an answer, sought to precipitate matters by taking the offensive. 
J. 18 10 gives the name, Simon Peter, and the incident is entirely 
characteristic. He also names the servant, Malchus. Lk. 22 51 
ddds the interesting fact, that Jesus healed the man. 

Omit rts, a certain, after ets, one, Treg. (WH.) n ALM, mss. Lat. Vet. 
Egyptt. Hard, wr&piov, instead of urlov, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BD i, Hard. 

48. \.7)<tty)v — a highwayman. The word for thief is nXi-nr^. 
Force would be unnecessary in capturing a mere thief. Jesus 
mildly resents the idea of lawlessness, implied in sending out an 
armed force to capture him. He is no highwayman, prepared to 
resist the law that he has violated. 

itf\0a.Te, instead of etfXdere, Tisch. Treg. WH. kBDi, Hard. marg. 

49. kclO' rjfxepav rffxyv 7rp6s v/tas iv Ta> tepw 8t8ao"K(uv — / was 
daily with you in the temple teaching. This protests against the 
secrecy which they have used in his arrest. There is in it again, 
the idea that they have a dangerous character to deal with. He 
had not sought to hide himself, nor to cover up his teachings. 
He had mingled with them daily, and taught in the temple. He 
implies that there must be some secret reason, involving the weak- 
ness of their cause, not of his, for their proceeding against him 
with both force and secrecy. dAA' Iva. 7r\rjp(o0uxnv at ypa<f>ai — 
The Scriptures that would be fulfilled in this instance were those 
that presaged his treatment as a malefactor, e.g. Is. 53 6 " 912 . Our 
Lord must have entered very deeply into the inner meaning and 
heart of the Scriptures, to find them presaging his fate ; just as 
the Scriptures themselves nowhere vindicate their inspired quality 
as in that presentiment. 

50. not d^e'vres clvtov 2<f>vyov 7ravTes — They had stood by him 
until his words and acts made it evident that Jesus was committed 
to a policy of non-resistance. After that, to stay was simply to 
involve themselves in his fate, and for that, not courage, but faith 
was lacking. This is the explanation of their conduct during this 
crisis ; their faith had suffered an eclipse. To the rest of the 
Jews, his non-resistance and the failure of heaven to interfere in 
his behalf were conclusive proof of the falseness of his Messianic 
claim. To the disciples, whose simpler and less sophisticated 
mind was deeply impressed with the varied proof of greatness 
afforded in their intimate association with him, but who had the 
same Jewish ideas of the Messiah, these untoward events were an 
occasion of profound doubt and perplexity, but not of actual un- 
belief. But doubt removes courage ; the disciples fled because 
their faith wavered. 


51. veavCaKos tis (tvvyjkoXovOcl — a certain young man accom- 
panied him. This is a singular episode in the tragedy of our 
Lord's betrayal, and it is still more singular that it should have 
found its way into the account, forming, as it does, a picturesque 
incident, but not an essential of the event. The linen cloth was 
a sheet which he had thrown around him, when he got out of his 
bed, probably aroused by the stir which the crowd made when it 
passed by his house. Evidently he was a disciple, but his hasty 
dress shows that he was not one of the twelve. The failure to 
mention his name does not show that it was unknown to Mk. ; see 
v. 47 . Rather, this, together with the mention of an event otherwise 
so trivial, might easily point to Mk. himself as the person. 

veavi<XKos tis, instead of els tis veavlaicos, Treg. WH. RV. N BCDL, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Egyptt. Pesh. <rvpr]Ko\ovdei, accompanied, instead of tjko\ov- 
0ei, followed, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCL. 

52. kolI uparovvLv avrov ' 6 Be KaTa\i7ro)v rrjv crivBova yv/xvos ecf)vyev 
— and they seize him ; but he, having left the linen cloth, fled 

Omit oi veavi<TKoi, the young men, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC * DL A, 
mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. Omit d7r' avr&v, from them, Tisch 
Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. n BCL, two mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. Pesh. 


53-65. Jesus is carried before the Sanhedrim, who ex- 
amine him in regard to his standing before Jewish law. 
This is necessary in order to vindicate their procedure as a 
national tribunal. But in this examination, they proceed as 
a prosecuting body, seeking testimony by which they may put 
him to death, instead of sitting as judges on the question of 
his guilt. They found, however, only false witness, and 
that not self consistent, to the effect that he had threatened 
to destroy the temple built with hands, and to build another 
in three days, without hands. The first part of this was 
the only one containing any offensive matter, and that was 
false. The high priest then questioned Jesus in regard to 
this testimony, and Jesus by his silence implied that there 
was nothing to answer. Then the high priest asks him 
directly if he is the Messiah, which is the real question at 
issue. Jesus sees in this a question which he has no desire 
to evade, the matter about whicJi he zvants 7io mistake nor 


doubt, especially before the highest tribunal, and he answers, 
I am. He prophesies also that they will see the Son of 
Man occupying the position of Divine vicegerent, and exer- 
cising his authority here on earth. This is taken as con- 
victing him of blasphemy out of his own mouth, and he is 
conde7mied guilty of this capital crime. Then they begin 
to abuse him, spitting on him, and casting ridicule on his 
prophetic claims by vailing his face, and then after buffeting 
him, saying, Prophesy, who struck you. Meantime, while 
this sorry business is going on, Peter, not wishing to identify 
himself with his Master, and yet unwilling to remain 
ignorant of his fate, seats himself in the court with the 
under-officers of the Sanhedrim. 

53. tov apxitpza — the high priest, who was ex-officio the pres- 
ident of the Sanhedrim. Mt. gives us the name of the high 
priest, viz. Caiaphas. 1 J. tells us of a preliminary examination 
before Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, for which the Synop- 
tics leave no room, and with which it is difficult to keep the con- 
sistency of John's account. 2 ol apxt£p& *• ol Trpearfivrepoi k. 01 
ypa/A/xarets — These were the three classes composing the Sanhe- 
drim. This trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrim as the judicial 
body of the nation, was to ascertain his guilt under the law of the 
land. Probably, that would not be enough to procure his condem- 
nation before the Roman procurator, who would not be likely to 
put him to death except for some offence against the imperial 
government. But they knew that they would not be justified 
before the nation for procuring his death, unless they could find 
him guilty of some capital sin against the Jewish law. This meet- 
ing of the Sanhedrim must have been arranged in expectation of 
Jesus' arrest. 

Omit ai>T<$, to him, after <rvv4pxovrai, gather, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. 
x DL A 13, 64, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. 

54. ajro p.a.Kp60ev 3 cws lo-w, ets rrjv avXrjv — literally, as far as 
inside, into the court. It seems better here to retain the proper 
meaning of avkyv, viz. the open space, enclosed by the walls of 
the palace, the court, though it probably has the meaning palace 
in some places. 4 v-n-qper^v — the attendants, or officials of the 
Sanhedrim, like the Roman lictors, or our sergeants-at-arms, or 
doorkeepers, ttoos to <£ws — at the light of the fire. RV. Pos- 

I Mt. 2657. 2 j. !813. 24. 3 On the pleonastic use of the prep., see Win. 65, 2. 
* Mt. 263- 58 Mk. 15I8 Lk. n2i J. i815. 


sibly, the light, instead of the fire itself, is named, because it calls 
attention to the fact that Peter was in sight, not hid away in the 

55. e^rjrovv fxapTvpiav . . . els to davarCjcrat — sought witness . . . 
to put him to death. They did not act as judges, but having formed 
the purpose to put him to death, they sought witness against him. 
Nominally, they were judges ; really, they were prosecutors. 1 

56. 7roAAoi yap iif/evSopLaprvpow — for ma?iy bore false witness. 
This confirms the statement that they found no witness to put him 
to death. Such testimony, i.e. as would answer their purpose, 
since, though many bore false witness, their testimony did not 

58. 'Eyw KaraXvo-a) rov vabv tovtov, etc. — / will destroy this 
temple made with hands, and after three days I will build another 
without hand* The nearest approach to this is found in J. 2 19 , 
" Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it." This 
omits the only damaging part of the testimony, the " / will destroy 
this temple" dxeLponotrjTov 2 — not made with hands. 

WH. has the singular reading avaaT-qaw, I will raise another not made 
with hands. It is found in D and four mss. Lat. Vet. 

59. koX ovBe ourcos — and not even so, implying that this was the 
nearest approach to definite and consistent testimony that they 
found, but that even in this, the testimony of different witnesses 
disagreed in essential particulars. Mk. calls it {J/evSopLapTvpta, but 
evidently in the sense that it misrepresented a saying of Jesus, not 
that there <vas no such saying. According to Mt., there were two 
witnesses who testified to this. 

60. Failing to find testimony, the high priest proceeds to ques- 
tion Jesus, as if the testimony itself had been of such a nature as 
to require an answer from him. The silence of Jesus is due to 
this fact. It is as much as to say, "There is nothing to answer." 

Omit to before fx£<rov, midst, Tisch. Treg. WH. and about everything, 
except DM Memph. ovk airenplvaTO ovdiv, instead of ovdev airenpivaTO, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x BCL 33, Egyptt. 

The high priest then puts a leading question, seeking to make 
Jesus criminate himself. And the question is put in the form ex- 
pecting assent, Thou art, art thou ? 6 vibs rov evXoyrjTov — the 
Son of the blessed. This addition to the simple 6 Xpio-ros, the 
Messiah, is intended to bring out the solemnity of the claim, and 
thus the blasphemy that would be involved in the false claim. It 
was not something added to the claim of Messiahship by Jesus, 
involving blasphemy, whereas the claim of Messiahship by itself 
would not involve that : but it was a legitimate part of the Jewish 
description of the Messiah. cuAoy^rdg is not found elsewhere in 

1 See v. 1 . 2 A word found only in the N.T. 


the N.T., except as a predicate of ©cos in doxologies. It means 
the one who is worshipped. 

62. Now, the high priest gets an answer. The time has come 
for Jesus to make his confession before the highest tribunal of the 
nation. To be silent now would wear the look of abdicating his 
claim at the critical moment of his life. And he proceeds to add 
to it even more of august and solemn circumstance than the high 
priest had maliciously invested it with. k. oxf/eo-de t. vlov — And 
you will see the Son of Man seated on the right hand of power, 
and coming with the clouds of heaven. He cites here again the 
language of Dan. 7 13 , applying it to himself. It is as if he had 
said, you will see fulfilled in me the most august of the Messianic 
prophecies. K<x6r}fX€vov Zk 8e£icoy rrjs oWa/xews — occupying, i.e. the 
throne of God's vicegerent, the position next to the throne itself. 
This again is a legitimate part of the Messianic claim, according 
to Jewish expectation, but it shows, as the language of the High 
Priest had done, the blasphemy of a false claim. In the mouth 
of Jesus, it denotes the place that he was to occupy in heaven. 
Mt. adds, d-rr apn, from this very ti?ne on, and Lk. d™ tov vvv, 
from now on ; and with this addition, it points evidently to the 
earthly evidences of this heavenly power. They were to see with 
their own eyes the advancing kingdom of the Son of Man in the 
world. With this limitation of time, the language cannot refer to 
what was to take place at the end of the world, but to what was 
to take place continually in the world from that time on. It was 
to become immediately the scene of the Messianic kingdom, in 
which the Son of Man was to rule over its affairs from his throne 
in heaven, k. ip^ofxevov /actoi twv ve<pe\uv. See on 13 26 . This 
denotes more specifically the intervention of the Son of Man, the 
Messianic King, in the affairs of the world. The whole statement 
means, in connection with Jesus' confession of the Messianic claim, 
that they would see him exercising the Messianic power. 

63. Stapprj$a<; r. y^Toiva's — having rent his garments. x L ™ va( > 
is used here of garment in general, not restricted to inner gar- 
ments. Mt. says t^tana (26"'). 

64. rjKovaare r. /SAao-^/xias — you heard the blasphemy. The 
blasphemy did not consist in the terms in which he claimed the 
Messianic dignity, since he used simply the language of prophecy, 
but in what the high priest considered to be his false claim to so 
august a position. Ivoyov Oavdrov — liable to (the punishment of ) 
death. The high priest has named the crime of which they find 
him guilty under the Jewish law. This is the penalty of that 
crime of blasphemy. 

65. Kat tJp$clvt6 nves Ip-irrvew avra> — And some began to spit on 
him. Lk. says, those who held him} But he puts this in another 

1 Lk. 22^3. 


place. According to him, the Sanhedrim did not assemble till 
the next morning, and this reviling was done by those who held 
Jesus in custody during the interval. Ylpo^yjTcvaov — Prophesy. 
The subject of prophecy was to be, who smote him} ol vir-qplrai 
— the attendants, the officers of the Sanhedrim. 2 pairta-fiao-iv avrbv 
!Aa/?ov — received him with blows. This marks the end of the 
present procedure before the Sanhedrim, when he would be 
turned over to the officials for custody. And this is the reception 
which they gave him. 

t?\a/3o»>, instead of tpaWop, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCIKLNSV TAIL 
DG I, 13, 69, Memph. Hard. eXd/xfiavov. 


66-72. While the trial is going on, Peter is at the fire in 
the court of the palace. One of the maid-servants of the 
high priest sees him there, and charges him ivith being a 
follower of Jesus. Peter denies it, and pretends not even 
to understand what she says. But he sees that the situation 
is becoming dangerous, and goes out into the vestibule, lead- 
ing from the court into the street, when a cock crowed. 
There the servant repeats her charge, and Peter his denial, 
Finally, after a short time, the bystanders detect the Galilean 
burr in Peter's speech, and renew the charge. Then Peter 
begins to protest with oaths that he does not know whom 
they are talking about. It is tlie third denial, and the cock 
crowed a second time, which brought to his mind Jesus' 
warning, and having thought on it, Peter wept. 

67. Kat crv fiera rov Na^apTyvov rjaOa rov 'lrjcrov — You too were 
with the Nazarene, Jesus, ko.1 adds <™ to the rest of the disciples, 
who have kept away from the place of danger. You too, who take 
your place so boldly here. The position of Na^ap^voi), and its 
separation from tov 'I770-01), makes it emphatic. The Nazarene 
concentrates in itself their notion of the absurdity of his claim. 

fiada rod T^oO, instead of 'Irjaov fjo-da, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BCL. 
Also n D A Latt. Syrr. insert rov before 'Ir)<rov. 

68. ovre ol8a ovre €7Tio-Ta/xat — / neither know, nor understand 
what you say. Peter makes his denial as explicit as possible. It 

1 Mt. 2668 Lk. 226*. 2 see on vM. 

XIV. 68-72] PETER'S DENIAL 28 1 

is a denial of all knowledge, or even understanding of what, the 
woman is saying. -n-poavXiov 1 — the vestibule, or covered way, 
leading from the street into the inner court, kox dXejcrup i<f><i>vr)<re 

— and a cock crowed, not the cock. 

ovre . . . ovre, instead of oik . . . ovdt, Tisch.Treg. WH. RV. n BDL, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Egyptt. Omit kclI aXenrup i<p&pri<re, and a cock crowed, 
WH. RV. marg. n BL, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. 

69. Kat rj 7raioYo-K?7 — and the maid, the same who had made 
the former charge. Mt. 26 71 says aXK-q, another maid. L. 22 s8 
says erepos, another man. J. 18 25 says lAeyov, they said. 

tois irapeoTGxnv, instead of rots irap€<rTr}K6<riv, Tisch. Treg. WH. N 

70. rjpv&ro — denied. Mt. says /xera SpKov, with an oath. The 
answer of Peter varies also in the several accounts. p.tra /aikoov 

— L. says ouxcrrao-Tys wo-et <opas /xias, about one hour having inter- 
vened. J. says that the person making this third charge was a 
kinsman of Malchus, whose ear Peter had cut off at the arrest, 
and that he asks i he did not see Peter with Jesus in the orchard. 
The Synoptists agree in their account of this charge, all of them 
inserting a\r)$<2s, Verily (L. iir aXrjOaas) , and giving substantially 
the same reason, viz. that he was a Galilean. Mt. adds, rj \a\id 
<rov SrjXov <re ttouI — thy speech makes thee known. The best texts 
omit these words in Mk. 

Omit /cat tj XaAt<£ <rov o/iotdfet, and your speech is like, Tisch. Treg. WH. 
RV. n BCDL 1, 118, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 

71. ava$ep.a.Ti£eiv — to curse. 2 It does not denote, any more 
than Sfivvvai, vulgar swearing, but the imprecation of divine pen- 
alties on the person, if he does not speak the truth. 

6/xvivat, instead of ofivvveiv, Tisch. Treg. WH. BEHLSUVX T. 

72. Kat evOvs ck Sevrcpov dAeKTwp i<p<i)vr)<re — And immediately, a 
second time, a cock crowed, to prjpM. <os 3 — the word, how. k. Itti- 
fiakoiv cKAate — and having thought on it, he began to weep. This 
meaning of the participle is clearly established now, and it is 
clearly the best rendering, if allowable. 4 The impf. denotes the 
act in its inception, he began to weep. Peter had lost his faith 
for the time, but that was no reason why he should lose his cour- 
age and honesty. But his courage was supported by his faith, 
and fell with it. Why should he run any risks for a hope that 
had failed him ? This was his thought while he was under press- 

1 A rare word, found in the N.T. only here. 

2 A purely Biblical and ecclesiastical word, found in the N.T. only here, and 
Acts 2312. 14. 21. 3 See Thay.-Grm. Lex. <o S , I. 6. 

4 See Morison for best statement of different views. 


ure. But now he remembers the warning of Jesus, and with it 
recalls all that Jesus had been to him, whatever might become of 
the hope that they had all associated with him, and he weeps over 
his own baseness. But he does not take back his denial. 

rb pi]fx.a d>s, instead of rod p-fjixaros of, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. x ABCL A 
Egyptt. Insert eu0t>s before e/c devrtpov, Tisch. Treg. (Treg. marg^) WH. 
RV. n BDGL 13, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Pesh. 


XV. 1-15. The Sanhedrim have found in Jesus claim to 
be the Messiah a basis of procedure against him under 
Jewish law. The claim they judged to be blasphemy. It 
appears now that they made use of the same before Pilate. 
For the first question that Pilate asks is whether Jesus is 
king of the Jews, evidently reflecting in this the charge on 
which Jesus has been brought to him. Jesus assents to this, 
but Pilate is well enough informed about the affairs of his 
province to know that the claim as made by Jesus does not 
amount to treason, and involves no harm to the state. Other- 
wise, the case would have been complete. The chief priests, 
seeing that it is not, proceed to make various charges, to 
which Jesus makes no reply. Just how the next step is 
brought about we are not told, but probably it is a device of 
Pilate s to use the sympathy of the people against the malice 
of the authorities, and so justify himself hi releasing Jesus. 
In a case like this, it would be the policy of the empire not 
only to decide the question on its merits, but to conciliate the 
people. At any rate, the question of releasing to the people 
a political prisoner being brought up, he asks them if he 
shall release to them the king of the Jews. But the chief 
priests, knowing that the hope of the people had been for a 
political Messiah, and that Jesus had disappointed that hope, 
found it easy to stir up the crowd to demand the release of 
Barabbas, who had been in a political plot, and even the 
crucifixion of Jestis. And Pilate following the Roman 
policy, acceded to their demand. 


1. Kat evOvs irpaA avfx/3ov\iov crot/xacrai/Tes — And immediately 
in the morning, having made ready a concerted plan of action. It 
is evident that their formal procedure had been the night before, 
resulting in the condemnation of Jesus, 14 64 . On the contrary, 
this morning meeting was an informal gathering to decide on a 
plan of action before Pilate. o-vfxfiovXtov with erot/xa^etv denotes 
not a consultation, but the result of the consultation, a concerted 
plan of action. 1 This is the reverse of Jewish legal process, which 
would have allowed the informal gathering at night, but a judicial 
procedure only during the day. 2 Lk. makes this trial in the morn- 
ing to be the one in which they extract from Jesus the confession 
that he is the Messiah. In fact, in Mt. and Mk. the trial of Jesus 
before the Sanhedrim is at night, in Lk., on the contrary, it is in 
the morning. 3 k. o\ov to oWopiov — The AV. translates here so 
as to make these words a part of those dependent on fxera, with. 
But they belong with ol apx^p^. The RV. translates properly ; 
The chief priests with the elders and scribes, and all the council, 
rw IIiAaru> — this is the first time that Pilate has been mentioned 
in Mt. or Mk. Lk. tells us that he was procurator of Judaea at the 
time that John the Baptist began his work, 4 and we know from 
other sources that he had been procurator for three years at that 
time. Judaea had been a part of the Roman province of Syria since 
a.d. 6, and was governed by a Roman procurator, whose residence 
was Caesarea. Pilate was sixth in the line of these. His presence 
at Jerusalem was on account of the Passover, and the danger of 
disturbance owing to the influx of Jews at the feast. 

Omit eirl rb before irpwt, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDL 46, mss. Lat. 
Vet. Egyptt. eroLfxaa-avTes, instead of troir)<ravTes, Tisch. WH. marg. n CL. 
Internal evidence favors this more difficult reading. 

2. o-v el 6 (3a<n\€v<: t&v 'IovScuW ; — Art thou the king of the Jews ? 
The pronoun is emphatic, and probably disdainful. Pilate ridicules 
the charge. 2v Aeyeis — Thou sayest. A Jewish form of assent. 
In Lk. 22 7071 , this formula is treated by the Sanhedrim as assent- 
ing to their questions. And in Mk. 14 62 , e-yw ci/xt is given as the 
equivalent of o-v euras in Mt. 26 s *. Nevertheless, the on Zy<!> dpi 
of Lk. 22 70 , and Jn. 18 87 , on /3ao-iA.evs dpi, show that it is not the 
same as if he had merely assented, that the form of assent is such 
as to admit of adjuncts inappropriate to mere ordinary assent. 
On the other hand, it does not seem in any of the N.T. passages 
quoted to differ essentially from assent. 5 Here, as in the trial 
before the Sanhedrim, this is the one question that Jesus answers. 
It is the only question on which his own testimony is important, 
and absolutely necessary. Left to the testimony of others, and of 

1 See Holtzmann. 2 See Edersheim, Life of Jesus, II. ch. 13, 3. 

* Lk. 22«5-7i. 4 Lk. 31. 5 See Thayer, Art. in Journal Bib. Lit. 1894. 


his own life, this essential thing, which is the key to the whole 
situation, would be subject to the ridicule with which Pilate treats 
it. In spite of all appearances to the contrary, he says, / am 
King. It is another and entirely different question, whether his 
kingship interfered with the State, and so made him amenable to 
its law. And just because that question would have to receive a 
negative answer, and so would seem to deny kingship in any ac- 
cepted sense, he had to affirm that claim. 

airy \tyei, instead of elirev avrip, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCD Memph. 
1, 127, 209, 258, read \£yei atrip. 

3. Kat KCLT-qyopow avrov 01 apxupels woXXd — And the chief priests 
brought many accusations against him. This was evidently because 
Pilate was not convinced by their statement that he claimed to be 
a king. Under the Roman system, the governor of a province 
was supposed to keep the central government informed of what- 
ever was going on in his jurisdiction, and this system was so per- 
fected that there would be little chance for a work like that of 
Jesus to go on without the cognizance of the Roman deputies. 
Pilate's whole attitude shows that he understood the case, so that 
he was not alarmed by a charge, which in any other circumstances 
he could not have treated so cavalierly. Lk. tells us something 
about these charges. 1 Of course, the principal one was his claim 
to be a king, the Messianic King, which Jesus admits. To this 
they added that he stirs tip the people, and forbids to pay tribute 
to Caesar. This is what is needed to give a treasonable character 
to the main charge. If these acts could be proved, they would 
be overt acts of treason. And the fact that Pilate pays so little 
attention to them, and does not treat Jesus' silence in face of them 
as an evidence of guilt, proves conclusively that he understood 
the facts. 

4. iTrrjpioTa avrov, (Xey<oi/ . . . Trocra <rov KaTrjyopoxxnv — asked 
him , (saying) . . . how many charges they bring against you. 

iirrjpdjTa, instead of -rrjaev, Tisch. Treg. WH. BU 13, 33, 69, 124, two 
mss. Lat. Vet. Hard. marg. Omit \tyuv, Tisch. (WH.) n* 1, 209, one 
ms. Lat. Vet. Theb. KaTir\yopov<nv, Sistead of Kara/JLaprvpovaLv, bear 7vitnes$ 
against, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCD 1, Latt. Memph. 

ovKiri ov&v airzKplOr) — no longer answered anything ; viz. after 
the first question. Jesus' silence is due to the fact that his life is 
a sufficient answer to these charges. The fact of his kingship 
would seem to men to be denied or rendered doubtful by the 
events of his life, and to that, therefore, he needed to testify. But 
as to these questions, involving the interference of his kingdom 

1 Lk. 235 


with the State the facts were enough. And Jesus knew, moreover, 
that Pilate was cognizant of these facts. As to stirring up the 
people, he had done just the opposite, he had repressed them, 
and one of the significant facts given to us in the Synoptists is his 
wise silence in regard to his Messianic claim, lest the people 
should be stirred up by false hopes. And as to forbidding the 
payment of tribute to Caesar, he had, instead, commanded it. 
That is, he had used his authority to enforce that of the State, 
not to overthrow it. Pilate's course throughout shows that he 
appreciated the situation, and that at no time in the trial did he 
consider the charges against Jesus of any weight whatever. 6av- 
fid^av — No wonder that Pilate wondered. It is one of the places 
where the heavenly way seems not only unaccountable to men, 
but also somehow admirable. The Sanhedrim, knowing that they 
were weak on the side of facts, added to these protestations and 
clamor, and wily personal appeal, intent only on carrying their 
point. Jesus, strong in his innocence, brings no pressure to bear, 
beyond that of simply the facts, which he allows to do all the 
talking for him. There is no doubt which method secures im- 
mediate ends in this world. Jesus says about the men who use the 
worldly way, Verily 1 say unto yon, they have their reward. But 
neither is there any doubt which secures large ends, and wins in 
the long run. It is not only the truth, but the method of truth 
that prevails at last. 1 

6. Kara Se eoprrjv diriXvev — Now at the Feast he was i?i the 
habit of re/easing. The AV. obscures everything here. This cus- 
tom is quite probable, and is in line with what we know of Roman 
policy. It was a part of the Roman administration of conquered 
provinces, a policy of conciliation. But there is no mention of it 

op iraprjTovvTo, instead of fvirep yrovvro, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. 

7. o-rao-iao-Twv . . . orao-ei — insurgents . . . insurrection. These 
words tell the story of Barabbas. He was just what the Jews ac- 
cused Jesus of being, a man who had raised a revolt against the 
Roman power. He was a political prisoner, and it was only such 
that the Jews would be interested to have released to them. 
Their interests and those of Rome were opposed, and a man who 
revolted against Rome was regarded as a patriot. The fact that 
they asked for Barabbas shows that they were insincere in bring- 
ing charges against Jesus. 

or a.(j io.(jr (av, instead of o-vo-rao-iao-TQv, fellow-insurgents, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BCDK 1, 13, 69, Theb. 



8. kcu df<x/?as 6 6\Xo<s -tjp$aTO alrelcrOaL, kclOios IttoUl avTOts — and 
the crowd, having come up, began to ask {him to do) as he was 
wont to do for them. 

avafias, instead of ava^o^aas, having cried out, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. 
n BD, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Egyptt. Omit del, always, Tisch. WH. RV. n 
B A Egyptt. 

9. OeXere aTroXvano vpxv tov fiaaiXta. rutv 'IovScuW — Do you wish 
me to release to you the king of the Jews ? Pilate has been in- 
formed evidently by the chief priests, that it is the people them- 
selves who have invested Jesus with this title, on his entry into 
Jerusalem. And he uses the term here, expecting their sympathy. 1 

10. Slol <f>66vov — on account of envy. He knew that it was the 
popularity of Jesus with the multitudes that had aroused the 
jealousy of the rulers against him, and he hoped that he could 
make use of that now to secure his release. 

11. ot 8c apxLcpels dv€0~eio~av tov S)(Xov, Iva paXXov tov Hapafifiav 
aTroXvar) avTols — but the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that 
he should rather release Barabbas to them. This was the first 
time in the life of Jesus that the people had turned against him. 
And while, of course, the fickleness of the crowd is always to be 
taken into account, there were other elements at work here, which 
made the people especially pliable. It was a case of regulars 
against an irregular, of priests against prophet, and popular pref- 
erence is always evenly balanced between these. But the great 
thing was the cruel disappointment of the people after the 
triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. He had raised their 
hopes to the highest pitch then, only to dash them to the ground 
again by his subsequent inaction and powerlessness. It was no 
use for them to ask for the release of a king who had just 

12. ZXeyev avrois, Tt ovv (OeXtTt) irotrjcriii {ov) Xeyere tov fiacnXia 
Ttov 'Iov&uW ; — said to them, What then shall I do {do you wish 
me to do) with him whom you call the king of the Jews ? Or, What 
then do you tell me to do with the king of the Jews ? The reading 
ov Xcyere t. /foo-iAea t. 'IovScuW so evidently preserves to us an 
element of the situation, which a copyist would not think of, that 
it is to be retained. The fact that it was the people themselves 
who had invested Jesus with this title Pilate would be certain to 
use here, so that the ov Xeycre evidently belongs to this transaction. 
But it is just the thing that a copyist would lose sight of, as out of 
harmony with the present hostile attitude of the people. It is 
because Pilate remembered this, that he still hoped that he might 
find in the people, if not a demand for the release of Jesus, at 
least some manifestation of indifference that would show him that 

i So Weiss. 


the cry for his death was not a popular demand, and then he could 
afford to go against the rulers. He was evidently determined to 
yield to nothing except popular pressure, and that he hoped Jesus' 
previous popularity might avert. 

eXeyev, instead of elirev, Tisch. Treg. WH. n BC Hard. Omit dtXere, 
WH. RV. n BCD i, 13, 33, 69, Egyptt. Omit ov before \4yere, WH. B. 
Omit ov Xtyere, Treg. (Treg. marg.) AD 1, 13, 69, 118, Latt. Theb. 

13. ^ravpwaov avrov — Crucify him. An extreme probably to 
which they would not have gone except for the instigation of the 
priests. But having lost their confidence in Jesus, they were 
ready to follow their accustomed leaders. 

14. Tt yap i-n-OLrjaev kolkov ; — Why, what evil did he do ? 1 Pilate 
still hoped that by this unanswerable question he might confuse 
the people, and stop their clamor. 7repio-<rws cKpa$av — they cried 
vehemently. The previous statement is, they cried. Now, the cry 
becomes vehement. Pilate's endeavor to check it only adds vehe- 
mence to it. 

7re/H<r(rcDs, instead of irepio-o-oripcji, more vehemently, Tisch. Treg. WH. 

This verse defines exactly the state of the case. Pilate insists 
so far that the people shall give him some ground for proceeding 
against Jesus, and even hints that he does not think that there is 
any good reason for it. That is, up to this point, he acts as the 
judge. The people, on the other hand, confess judgment by their 
refusal to answer Pilate's question, implying that they have no 
case. And they fall back on popular clamor, simply reiterating 
their demand that Jesus be put to death. 

15. (3ov\6iA€vo<s Tw o^Xo) to Ikclvov 7roLrj(TaL — wishing to satisfy 
the multitude. The AV., willing to content the people, is weak, 
especially in its translation of /?ovAo'/xevos. <ppayeWu>o-as 2 — hav- 
ing scourged him. This was a part of the procedure in case of 
crucifixion, and whether its object was merciful or not, its effect 
was certainly to mitigate the slow torture of crucifixion, by hasten- 
ing death. 3 

This statement of Pilate's reason is again a reflection of the 
Roman policy in dealing with the provinces. As a matter of 
policy, — and this would be the Roman method of dealing with 

1 On this use of yip in questions, see Win. 53, 8 c). The answer to the question 
n such cases is causal with reference to what precedes, here with reference to 
iravpuo-ov (lvtov. 2 The Lat. verb fiagellare. The Grk. verb is /xao-Tt-ydw. 

3 Edersheim, Life of Jesus, p. 579. 

288 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XV. 15, 16 

such a case, — there would be no reason against the crucifixion 
of Jesus, now that the people had joined hands with the rulers 
against him ; whereas, the popular clamor would constitute a 
reason of state which Pilate, under the Roman policy, would be 
obliged to consider. Pilate, that is to say, lays aside judicial 
considerations, and deals with it as a matter of imperial policy. 
So, substantially, Mt. and Lk. According to J. the Jews returned 
to the political charge, and insisted on the treasonable nature of 
Jesus' claim to be a king. 1 The two accounts are inconsistent. 
According to one, the charges are given up. According to the 
other, while the attempt to prove them is given up, the political 
effect of them is insisted on, and it is this which turns the scale 
against Jesus. 


16-21. Jesus is delivered up to the Roman soldiers for 
the execution of the sentence against him. They have 
learned the nature of the charge against him, and proceed 
to make sport of it. For this purpose they take him to the 
palace, and gather the whole cohort on duty in the city at 
the time. There they clothe him in mock purple, and put a 
crown made of the twigs of the thorn bush on his head, and 
pay him mock homage, saying "Hail, King of the yews." 
Then they put on him his own garments, and lead him out 
to the place of crucifixion. As yesus has been exhausted 
by the scourging, they press into the service one Simon a 
Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, — probably 
names that afterwards became familiar in the circle of 
disciples, — and make him carry the cross. 

16. tov T/yc/iovos — the procurator. Properly, it is the title of 
the " legatus Caesaris," the governor of an imperial province. But 
in the N.T., it is used of the procurator, Grk. iiriTpoTros, St.oLKr]T^<s, 
a subordinate officer of the province, who became practically the 
governor of the district of the larger province to which he was 
attached. Judaea, being part of the province of Syria, Pilate was 
properly procurator, or intrpoTros, but the N.T. gives him the 

i j, 1912-16. 

XV. 16-20] JESUS MOCKED 289 

title ffytfxwv, which belongs strictly to the governor of the whole 
province. 1 

lo-o) rrjs avXrjs — within the palace, which is the residence of the 
procurator during his stay in Jerusalem. The explanatory clause, 
which is the proztorium, i.e. the residence of the Roman governor, 
makes that meaning certain here. 2 tnrupav — this word is used 
exactly for the Roman cohort, or tenth part of a legion, number- 
ing six hundred men. It accords with this, that x^a-px ** tribune, 
is used in the N.T. to denote the commander of the o-rrzipa. 

17. ivSiBva-Kovcriv — they put on. s -rropcpvpav — Mt. says xA.a/x,v8a, 
kokklvyjv — a scarlet cloak, and this is probably the more correct 
account, owing to the military use of the chlamys. 4 irop^vpav 
represents the spirit of the act, to invest Jesus with the mock 
semblance of royalty : xXafivfta tells us what they used for the 
purpose. olkovOivov — made of the twigs of the thorn bush, not of 
the thorns themselves exclusively. 

ivdiSva-Kovcip, instead of iv8vov<rip, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BCDF A 1, 
13, 69. 

18. d(r7ra£eo-0cu — to salute. This word, in itself, does not con- 
tain the idea of homage, but of greeting. It depends on circum- 
stances what the greeting is. Here, they greeted him with a Hail, 
King of the Jews. 

19. They varied their abuse, sometimes paying him mock hom- 
age, and sometimes marks of scorn and abuse. -npocrtKvvovv avrto 
— they did him homage. They paid him mock homage as a king, 
not mock worship as a God. 

20. Kcu ore cveVat^av avraJ — And when they had mocked him. 5 
tol (iSia) i/iana avrov — his {own) garments. 

avrov, instead of ra tSia, WH. RV. BC A. ra tdia ifidria avrov, Tisch. 
N (282, without avrov). aravptiaovo-iv, instead of -cruxriv, Tisch. Treg. 
ACDLNP A 33, 69, 245, 253. Omit avrbv, Tisch. a D 122** two mss. Lat. 

ayyapevovo-i — they impress* Kvprjvalov — Cyrene is the city in 
the north of Africa, opposite Greece, on the Mediterranean. 
There was a numerous colony of Jews there, and the name Simon 
shows this man to have been a Jew. It adds nothing to our 
knowledge of him to call him the father of Alexander and Rufus, 

1 See Thay.-Grm. Lex., B.D. Procurator. 

2 On this use of avk-q, see Thay.-Grm. Lex. 3 A biblical word. 4 Mt. 2728. 

5 See Burton, 48, 52. This seems to belong to the cases in which B. considers 
the plup. necessary to the Grk. idiom. The earlier event is necessarily thought of 
as completed at the time of the subsequent event. Goodwin, Gr. Moods and 
Tenses, says that the aor. is used, instead of the plup., after particles of time. 

6 A Persian word, meaning to press into the service of the royal couriers, iyyapot.. 
See Mt. 5 4i. 



except to indicate that these were names known to the early church. 
It is the height of foolish conjecture to identify this Rufus with 
the one in Rom. 16 13 , and especially to take Paul's rrjv fxyrepa 
avrov k. Ifxov as literal, and so make him the brother of Paul. The 
criminal carried his own cross to the place of execution, but in 
this case, Jesus was probably so weakened already by his sufferings, 
as to be unable to carry it himself. 


21-41. Arrived at the place of crucifixion, called Golgotha, 
they gave Jesus wine flavored with myrrh to drink, which 
he refused. The wine zvas probably given as a stimulant 
in his exhausted condition. After the Roman custom, his 
garments were distributed by lot among the four executioners. 
The crucifixion took place at time o'clock in the morning. 
An inscription, "The King of the Jews" was placed upon 
the cross as a statement of the charge against him. Two 
robbers zvere cmcified with him, one on each side, and joined 
the crowd and the rulers in taunting him. The people 
wagged their heads derisively, and challenged him, who was 
going to destroy and rebuild the temple, to save himself 
The rulers taunted him with his miracles, bidding him who 
had saved otliers to save Jiimself, and to prove his Messianic 
claim by coming down from the cross. At three d clock, 
darkness fell over the land until six o'clock, when Jesus 
cried,' 'My God, why didst thou forsake me?" The re- 
semblance of the Heb. My God to Elijah led certain to think 
that he was calling upon Elijah, and one man, having filled 
a sponge with sour wine which he gave Jesus at the end of a 
reed, cried out, " Let us see if ElijaJi comes to take him 
down." Jesus expired with a great cry, and the vail of the 
temple, which separates between the holy place and the holy 
of holies, was rent in twain. The centurion in charge of the 
crucifying party, seeing the portents accompanying his death, 
said, " Truly this was a son of God." The account ends 
with a statement of the women at the cross. 

XV. 22-25] THE CRUCIFIXION 29 1 

22. tov ToXyoOav tottov — the place Golgotha. The Hebrew 
word means, a skull, not the place of a skull. The name probably 
comes from the shape of the place. 

rbv YoXyodav tSttop, instead of YoXyoda rbirov, Tisch. WH. (jbv) 
YoXyoda, Treg. rbv, a BC 2 FLN A 13, 33, 69, 124, 127, 131, 346. 

23. Kat iSCSow awTw lo-p.vppicrp.ivov olvov — And they gave him 
wine flavored with myrrh. 

Omit irie??, to drink, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BC* L A, one ms. Lat. 
Vet. Memph. 

io-pvppiaptvov — mingled with myrrh. Mt. says, with gall. 
Myrrh seems to have been used by Greek and Roman women to 
remove its intoxicating quality. But that could not have been its 
intention here. The common account seems to be that the myrrh 
was used as a stupefying drug, but no evidence for this appears. 
The wine was evidently used as a stimulant, and the myrrh adds 
to this effect, bracing and warming the system. 1 

24. Kat aravpova-iv avrov, kcu htapepi^ovrai — And they crucify 
him, and divide. 

<TTavpov<ri.v avrov, Kal, instead of o-ravpAo-avres avrbv, having crucified 
him, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BL, mss. Lat. Vet. Egyptt. 5ia/j.epi£ovrai, 
instead of 5iep.tpi£ov, divided, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. » ABCDLPX TAIL 

On the method of crucifixion, see B.D. The cross was gen- 
erally just high enough to raise the feet above the ground. In 
this case it must have been higher. See v. 36 . The victim was 
placed upon it before the cross was elevated, his hands and feet 
being fastened to it by nails, and his body being supported by a 
peg fastened into the wood between his legs. The dividing of the 
garments among the soldiers who acted as executioners was cus- 
tomary. J. 1 9 s3 - 24 tells the story of the lot differently. According 
to that, it was only the inner garment, the x LT( *>v, over which they 
cast lots, instead of dividing it, as they did the other garments. 

25. rjv oc wpa rpir-q, /cat io-ravpwo-av avrov — and it was the third 
hour, and they crucified him? <2pa rpiri) — 9 o'clock. Mk. is the 
only one who gives this hour of the crucifixion. 

1 See Art. Myrrh, Encyclopedia Brit. 

2 Meyer cites passages from Xen. and Thuc. to show that it was not uncommon 
to join a statement of time with the statement of what took place at the time by /cat. 
But in all the passages which he cites, both the time and the event are additional 
matter, and may easily be connected in this way, the statement being the same as, 
when the time came, the event happened. But in this case, the time only is addi- 
tional matter, the event, the crucifixion, being just mentioned in v. 24 , so that this is 
the same as, it was three o'cl. when they crucified him. And for this, the indepen- 
dent statements connected by ko.L are not an idiomatic expression. 

292 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XV. 26-31 

26. i7TLypd<f>rj . . . C7uyey pa fxfxivrj — the inscription was inscribed. 
The prep, does not denote the position of this over his head, but 
its inscription on the tablet. The EV. conveys a wrong idea, not 
of the fact, but of the meaning of the words. e O /WiAevs iw 
'IouSaiW — The king of the Jews. Verse 14 shows that Pilate's 
verdict was that Jesus was innocent of any crime, and that he 
only yielded finally to the clamor of the people in sentencing him. 
But v. 2 - 9 - 12 - 18 show that this claim to be king was the charge on 
which the authorities asked for sentence. It was, that is to say, a 
charge of treason. 

27. \yo-Td*; — robbers, not thieves, AV. Men who plundered by 
violence, not by stealth. 

28. Omit. The quotation is from Is. 53 12 . Such quotations 
are not after Mk.'s manner. 

Omit v. 28 , Tisch. WH. RV. (Treg.) n ABC** nd 3 DX, one ms. Lat. Vet. 

29. 30. These taunts that follow have all the single point that 
now is the time to test all of Jesus' pretensions, especially to 
supernatural power and aid, and that his powerlessness now at 
this supreme moment makes these pretensions absurd. Ova, 1 6 
KaTaAvW tov vaov, kox oiKoSofxCov (tv) Tpio~\v 17/Acpcus, auxrov aeavrov, 
Karafias caro tov aravpov — Ha, you that destroy the temple, and 
build it in three days, 2 save yourself by coming down from the 
cross. The part. KaTafias denotes the manner of owov. The 
populace seize on this claim, the only one that Jesus ever made 
of the same kind, and match its seeming pretentiousness against 
his powerlessness now. 

Karats, instead of <al tcarapa, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. N BD^- L A, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. 

31. 'O/xotw? Kal ot apxLtp&S ifJLTraL^ovTes 7rpo5 dAAiyAov? — Likewise 
also the chief priests mocking to each other. RV. among themselves. 
The prep, denotes how the mocking was passed from one to 

Omit Si, and, after 6/wfws, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABC* LPX TAII, 
one ms. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Hard. 

These mocking priests and scribes were touching here upon 
what to all his contemporaries was the great mystery in the life of 
Jesus, but was really its crowning glory. The great obstacle in 
the way of human obedience to Divine law is the sacrifice which 
it involves, especially in a world where everything works the other 

1 An onomatopoetic word belonging to Biblical Greek, and not found elsewhere 
in the N.T. 2 See 1458. 

XV. 31, 32] THE CRUCIFIXION 293 

way. And on the other hand, the value and importance of obe- 
dience are enhanced by this sacrifice. But our Lord's sacrifice 
for righteousness' sake is magnified again by the contrast stated 
here. His miracles were a standing proof of his power to save 
others and himself. But while he used that power in the behalf 
of others, when the crisis of his own fate came, he was apparently 
powerless. Evidently, there was no limitation of the power, and 
so, there must have been a restraint imposed upon himself. He 
not only would not compromise with evil, he would not resist evil 
by opposing force to force. The taunt of his enemies meant that 
here was the final test of his miraculous power, and the proof of 
its unreality. When that test came, it showed, as they thought, 
that God was not on his side, else how could his enemies triumph 
over him? Whereas, everything pointed the other way. His 
miracles were real, God was on his side, and yet neither he nor 
God would lift a hand to save him. And the evident reason was 
that he would not cheapen his righteousness by making it safe. 
If he lived the righteous life, but did not incur the risks of other 
men in such living, his righteousness would lose the power to 
produce righteousness in other men which he sought. And, 
instead of revealing and furthering God's ways among men, it 
would obstruct them by introducing an alien principle at cross 
purposes with them. God's way is to establish righteousness by 
the self-sacrifice of righteous men, and for the one unique and 
absolute saint to avoid that sacrifice would destroy the self- 
propagating power of his righteousness. 

32. 6 X/okttos 6 /Jao-iAevs twv 'IovSaiW. These titles were 
intended to bring out the contrast between his claims and his 
situation, and the certainty that if his claims were real, he would 
be sa^ed from the incongruity and absurdity of that situation. A 
crucified Messiah, forsooth / Let us hear no more of it. If he is 
really the Messianic King, let him use his Messianic power, and 
deliver hi?nself from his ridiculous position by coming down fro?n 
the cross. He wants us to believe in him, and here is an easy way 
to bring that about. They could see the apparent absurdity of 
Jesus' position, but not the foolishness of their idea that an act of 
power is going to change a Pharisee, a narrow-minded, formal, 
and hypocritical legalist, into a spiritual man, in sympathy with 
Christ's principles and purposes. Here was the irreconcilable 
opposition ; on the one hand, that power can create the Kingdom 
of God ; and on the other, that power is absolutely powerless to 

294 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XV. 32-35 

do anything but hinder spiritual ends. Kai 01 o-vi/corav/Dco/Acvoi <rvv 
avT<$ . . . — And those crucified with him reviled him. So Mt. 
Lk., however, 23 39_43 , says that only one took part in this railing, 
while the other by his confession of Jesus on the cross performed 
the most notable act of faith of that generation. 1 

Insert aiiv before ai/rip, Tisch. WH. n BL. 

33. Kai yevofJi€vr]<s a»pas <ektt}<;, (Tkotos iyivcro — And the sixth 
hour having come, darkness came. This darkness was not an 
eclipse, since it was full moon, but like the earthquake and the 
rending of the vail of the temple, a supernatural manifestation of 
the sympathy of nature with these events in the spiritual realm. 
All the Synoptists relate this darkness. 

Kai yevoptv-ns, instead of yevopiriis 5£, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDGLMS 
A I, 28, 33, 69, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 

34. Kat rfj ivdrrj topa i(36r)(rev 6 'I770-OVS <f>u)vrj //.cyaA.77 'EAan, 'EAau, 
A.a/xa o-afiaxOavei ; 2 — And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a 
loud voice, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken ??ie ? The 
historical meaning of a-a/3ax0av€i is not to leave alone, but to leave 
helpless, denoting, not the withdrawal of God himself, but of his 
help, so that the Psalmist is delivered over into the hands of his 
enemies. So that, while it is possible to suppose that Jesus is 
uttering a cry over God's withdrawal of himself, it is certainly 
unnecessary. Such a desertion, or even the momentary uncon- 
sciousness of the Divine presence on the part of Jesus, makes an 
insoluble mystery in the midst of what is otherwise profound, but 
not obscure. Interpreted in the spirit of the original, of the with- 
holding of the Divine help, so that his enemies had their will of 
him, it falls in with the prayer in Gethsemane, " remove this cup 
from me," and becomes a question, while the cup is at his lips, 
why it was not removed. 

Omit \t~iuv, saying, before 'EXon, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL, mss. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. 

35. "I8e, 'HAetav <£wvet — See, he is calling Elijah. "I8e is used 
here as an interjection, calling attention to what is going on. As 
Jesus used Aramaic, and as Elijah was unknown to them, this 
cannot have been the soldiers, but some of the bystanders. And 
the misunderstanding was impossible, if they heard anything more 
than merely the name, or even that in any but the most indistinct 

1 Notice how exactly the language of v. 2 9-32 corresponds to Mt. 27 39 "* 2 > **. 

2 These words are from Ps. 22 1 . 'E-W is the Syriac form for the Heb. ^x, 'HAet, 
which is the form given by Mt. 27 46 . aapaxOavei is the Chaldaic form for the 
Heb. ^FiaiS? azabtani. Mk. reproduces the language of Jesus, which translates the 
Heb. into the current language. The Grk. 6 0e6s /xov, 6 fleds nov, ei« ri (ii/ari) eyicaTe- 
Atn-e's >xe ; is from the Sept. 


fashion. The prophetic association of Elijah with the day of the 
Lord would help this misunderstanding. 1 

36. Apa/xcbv Se tis, ye/u<ras airoyyov o£ov9, TrepiOtU KaA.a/u,a), cttoti- 
£ev avrov, kiy to v, " A <f>ere, etc. — And one ran, and filled a sponge 
with sour wine, 2 which he put on a reed, and gave him drink, 
saying, Let be ; etc. This is evidently a merciful act, and the 
*A<f>ere indicates that there was some opposition to it offered or 
expected, which this supposed call upon Elijah gave the man a 
pretext for setting aside. He said virtually, Let me give him this, 
and so prolong his life, and then we shall get an opportunity to see 
whether Elijah comes to help him or not. As Mt. tells it, 3 these 
are probably the words with which the bystanders try to restrain 
his gracious act. They say virtually, Don't interfere ; let Elijah 
help him. 

rts, instead of efj, the indef., instead of the numeral one, Tisch. Treg. 
WH. RV. n BL A. Omit icai, and, before ye^as, WH. RV. BL, one ms. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. Omit re after wepidels, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BD« r - L 
33, 67, Memph. 

37. a<f>eh <f>oiV7]v fx^yaXyjv 4 — having sent forth, or uttered a great 
cry. The final cry of his agony, with which he expired. 

38. to KaTa7T€Taa-fm rov vaov — the vail, or curtain of the sanctu- 
ary, vao's is the shrine of a temple, and in the Jewish temple, the 
Holy of Holies, in which was the Ark of the Covenant. The 
curtain was that which separated this from the Holy Place. 
The va6<s was the place where God manifested himself, into 
which the High Priest only had access once a year. The rend- 
ing of the vail would signify therefore the removal of the separa- 
tion between God and the people, and the access into his presence. 
It is narrated by all the Synoptists. 

39. K€VTvpLQ)v 5 — centurion. ovtq> c^cVvtvo-cv — so expired. The 
only thing narrated by Mk. to which the ovtoj can refer is the dark- 
ness over all the land. So Lk. Mt. adds to this an earthquake. 
The portent (s) accompanying the death of Jesus convinced the 
centurion that he was mos deov, not the Son of God, but a son of 
God, a hero after the heathen conception. Lk. says oYkcuo?, a 
righteous man. 

Omit *pd|as after ovru, Tisch. WH. n BL Memph. It changes the state- 
ment from he expired with this cry to he so expired. The former would 
really give no reason for the centurion's exclamation. 

1 See Mai. 4 5. 

2 The translation vinegar, EV., is incorrect, as it denotes the wine after it has 
passed the acetous fermentation ; but this is simply the ordinary sour wine of the 
country, which would be procured probably from the soldiers. 

8 Mt. 27< 8 - 49 . ■* Lat. emittere vocent. 

6 KtvrvpLiav is the Latin name of the officer in charge of the execution. Mt. and 
Lk. give the Greek name eKaTOfTipxTj?. The centurion commanded a maniple, or 
century, sixty of which made up the legion. 

296 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XV. 40, 41 

40. 17 MayhaXrjvri — the Magdalene, the same as we say, the 
flazarene. It denotes an inhabitant of Magdala, a town on the W. 
shore of the Lake of Galilee, three miles north of Tiberias. The 
only identification of her given in the Gospel is in Lk. 8 2 , where 
she is said to be one out of whom Jesus had cast seven devils. 
There is absolutely no support for the tradition that she was the 
sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus (Lk. 7 s6 sq.). Mapca 
■q TaKw/Jou rov /xiKpov k. Toxt^tos — Mary, the mother of James the 
little, and of Joses. In the list of the apostles, James is called the 
son of Alphseus, while in J. 19 25 , the name of one of the women 
standing by the cross is given as Mary, the wife of Clopas. These 
coincidences have led to the conjecture that Alphaeus and Clopas 
are identical, both being Greek forms of the Aramaic *sbn, and 
that, therefore, this Mary was the mother of the second James in 
the list of the apostles. The further conjecture that she was the 
sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is based on the unnecessary 
supposition that Mapta in J. 19 25 , is in apposition with 17 dSeA<£T). 
It involves the further difficulty of two sisters of the same name. 
It is connected, moreover, with the theory that the brothers of 
Jesus were cousins, the sons of this Mary, and apostles. This 
theory has against it, the fact that it is in the interest of the dogma 
of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It also 
makes the brothers of Jesus apostles, which is clearly against the 
record. 1 laXw/xr) — the mother of James and John. This is not 
directly stated, but it is inferred from a comparison of Mt. 2f & with 
this passage. A further comparison with J. 19 25 has led to the con- 
jecture that she is the sister of the mother of Jesus mentioned there. 
This might account for Jesus' commending his mother to John, but 
it is conjecture only, and will remain so. James is called 6 /aikoo's, 
the little, to distinguish him from the other "celebrities" of the 
name. But whether it designates him as less in stature, or in age, 
or of less importance, there are no data for determining. 

Omit yv after iv ah, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. n BL, mss. Vulg. Omit 
rod before Ta/t(£/3ou, Tisch. Treg. WH. x BCKU AIT* I, 11. Taxr^ros, 
instead of Twer?;, Tisch. Treg. WH. n c BD^- L A 13, 33, 69, 346, two mss. 
Lat. Vet. Memph. 

41. at, ore rjv h rrj YaXiXaia, rjKoXovOovv avraJ — who, when he 
was in Galilee, followed him. These three had been associated 
with Jesus in his Galilean ministry, and the Sitjkovovv, ministered, 
shows that they had been the women who attended to his wants, 
the women of the family-group surrounding him. Besides these, 
there were others who had attached themselves to him in the same 
way, when he came up to Jerusalem. 

Omit Kal after al, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. n B 33, 131, mss. Lat. Vet. 
Memph. Pesh. 

1 For statements of the two sides of this question, see B. D. Art. James and Brother. 

XV. 42, 43] THE BURIAL 297 


42-47. Jesus died at about three in the afternoon, and as 
the Sabbath began with the sunset, it was necessary that 
whatever was done about his burial be accomplished before 
that time. So Joseph of Arimathea, who is represented in 
this Gospel, not as a disciple, but as somehow in sympathy 
with him, summoned up courage to go to Pilate, and beg the 
body of Jesus. Pilate wondered at the short time which it 
had taken the usually slow torture of crucifixion to do its 
work, and asked the centurion if he had been dead any length 
of time. Having got this information, he gave the body to 
Joseph. He removed the body from the cross, wrapped it in 
linen, and placed it in a sepulchre hewn out of the rock. As 
the women were intending to embalm the body after the Sab- 
bath, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw 
where it was laid. 

42. irrel rjv wapaa-Kevy — since it was preparation day (for the 
Sabbath). This gives the reason why Joseph took this step at 
this time. The removal of the body would have been unlawful on 
the Sabbath, o eo-n irpoo-dfifiaTov ! — which is the day before the 
Sabbath. We are told by Josephus that this preparation for the 
Sabbath began on the ninth hour of the sixth day. It is not 
mentioned in the O.T. 

43. i\6a>v 'luiarjcp 6 faro 'Api/Aa&uas — Joseph of Arimathea, 
having come. Arimathea, the Heb. Ramah, was the name of 
several places in Palestine. Probably, this was the one mentioned 
in the O.T. as the birthplace of Samuel in Mt. Ephraim. 2 Mt. 
tells us about this Joseph that he was rich, and a disciple of Jesus. 
Lk., that he was a righteous man, and not implicated in the 
plot of the Jews against Jesus, and that he was expecting the 
kingdom of God. J., that he was a secret disciple, zvaxn^v 3 
/3ovA«vt>Js — an honorable member of the council (Sanhedrim). 
ToA/A^cra? — having gathered courage. Having laid aside the fear 
of the odium which would attach to his act. o? koI clvtos Trpoa- 
Se)(6fxtvo<: ttjv ftaaiXetav tov ®€oG — This language is inconsistent 
with the supposition that this account regards him as a disciple of 
Jesus. It evidently means that he was in sympathy with the dis~ 

1 A Biblical word, found in the N.T. only here. 2 1 S. I 1 - ». 

8 *v<rxnit.iav means primarily elegant in appearance. 

298 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XV. 43-47 

ciples in this element of their faith. He was not a follower of 
Jesus, but in common with him he was awaiting the kingdom of 
God, and wished to do honor to one who had suffered in its 

i\ei>t>, instead of y\6ey, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n ABCKLMU TAII, 
Memph. Insert rbv before IletXaToj', Tisch. Treg. WH. n BL A 33. Ilet- 
Xaroi', instead of HiMtov, Tisch. WH. n AB* A. 

44. 6 Sk IlccXaro? iBavfxa^ev {-atv) el r}8rj TidvqKt ' kcli . . . iTrrjpilirrj- 
<rev d TTaXai (rj^rj) arrcOave — And Pilate was wondering {wondered) 
if he is already dead, and . . . asked him if it is any while since he 
died. Generally, death was more lingering, the great cruelty of 
crucifixion being in its slow torture. The question which Pilate 
asked of the centurion who had charge of the execution was in- 
tended to remove the doubt by showing that sufficient time had 
elapsed to establish the fact of Jesus' death. 

IletXaTos, instead of IIiKcltos, same authorities as in v. 48 . idav/j-afrv, 
instead of -aev, Tisch. n D mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. The impf. is more in Mk.'s 
manner, the aor. more common. ^5tj, instead of irdXcu, Treg. WH. RV. 
marg. BD Memph. Hier. ir&\ai is the more difficult reading to account 
for, if not in the original. 

45. Kat yvous euro rov /ccvrvptWos, cSwp^o-aro to Trrai/xa 1 tu> T<oo-?/<p 
— And having found out from the centurion, he gave the body to 
Joseph. The information that he obtained from the centurion 
was the official confirmation of Jesus' death, necessary before the 
body could be taken down. 

vru>na, instead of awfia, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL. 

46. Kat dyopacras (TivBova, KaOeXiov avrov, iveiXtjae Trj aivSovi, kcu 
tOrjKev avrov iv fjLvrjfxari — And having bought a linen cloth, he took 
him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth, and put him in a tomb. 
There was no time before the Sabbath for any further preparation 
of the body for burial. 2 J., however, says that he was embalmed 
at this time. 3 The synoptical account is evidently correct. 

Omit koX before KadeXwv, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BDL Memph. ed-nnev, 
instead of Karid-nnev, Treg. WH. RV. x BC 2 DL. upr^arc, instead of ixv-q- 
fjxltp, Tisch. WH. n B. 

47. 'H Sc Mapt'a ^ MaySaArjvr) Kat Mapt'a TwoS^tos iOewpovv nov 
riBarax — And Mary {the) Magdalene, and Mary the mother of 
Joses, were observing where he was laid. Beheld, EV., is inade- 
quate to translate the verb here, as it leaves out the idea of pur- 
pose. It is evident that they constituted themselves a party of 

riBeiTtu, instead of riderai, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n<= ABCDL An 33, 69, 
131, 229, 238. 

1 For this word, see on 629. a See 16 1 . 3 J. 19 s9 - *>. 



XVI. 1-8. With the end of the Sabbath, the women, who 
are the only ones left to perform the service, bought the spices 
necessary, and came at sunrise to the tomb to anoint the 
body of Jesus. On the way, they discussed among them- 
selves whom they should get to roll away the heavy stone 
from the entrance of the tomb. But they found it removed, 
and oti entering, they saw a young man seated at the right 
clothed in a long white robe. Naturally, they were amazed, 
but he tells them that there is no reason for their amazement ; 
that Jesus whom they are seeking, the Nazarene, the crucified, 
is not there, he is risen ! And he points them to the place 
where they had put him, in proof But he bids them an- 
nounce to the disciples, and especially to Peter, that he is 
going before them into Galilee, and that they will see him 
there, as he had told them on the night of the betrayal. The 
effect of this on the women was fear and amazement, such 
that they fled from the place and were restrained by their 
fear from telling any one. 

1. rjyopaa-av dptafiara — they bought spices. Lk. says that they 
bought the spices on the day of his crucifixion, and rested on the 
Sabbath. As the day closed at sunset, they may have bought the 
spices that evening. They went to the tomb at sunrise, which 
would not allow time to buy them in the morning. aXdif/axnv — 
anoint. The process was not an embalming, which was unknown 
to the Jews, but simply an anointing. 

2. Kat Xiav 7rpcut (rrj} fxia rwv <ra{3(3a.T(i>v * tp\ovrai Ittl to fivrj- 
/xelov, dvarctAavTos rov rjkiov — And very early, the first day of the 
week, they come to the tomb, the sun having risen. Not at the 
rising of the sun. AV. 

ttj 1x1$, instead of ttjs (xia?, Tisch. RV. (Treg. marg. WH.) N L A 33, 
Memph. /zip, without rr), Treg. "WH. B I. Insert tQu before o-app&rwp, 
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. n BKL A 33, 69. 

3. lAeyov 7rpos cauTas — they were saying to each other? The 
impf. denotes what they were saying on the way. 

1 -rjj fjLLa rojv aaPPdTwv is a purely Hebrew phrase, using the cardinal for the 
ordinal, and the plural o-a/3/3<x™v for the week. Win. 37, 1. 

2 On this reciprocal use of the reflexive pronoun, see Thay.-Grm. Lex. 


4. dvaxcKvAiorai 6 XlOos ' rjv yap fiiyas cr<j>6$pa — the stone has 
been rolled back; for it was very great. The greatness of the 
stone is really the reason of their question, but he adds to the 
question the way that it turned out, as a part of the one event, 
before he introduces the explanation. 

ai>aK€Kij\i<rTcu, instead of awoKCKtiXiffTai, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. and 
practically all sources. 

5. do-eXOovo-ai els r. p.vrjp.e2ov — having entered into the tomb, 
Mt. says that the angel was sitting on the stone outside. 1 Lk., 
that there were two angels, who appeared to the women, not on 
their first entrance into the tomb, but in the midst of their per- 
plexity at not finding the body of Jesus. 2 J. speaks of only one 
woman, Mary Magdalene, who came to the sepulchre, and got no 
farther than to see the stone rolled away, when she turned back 
and told Peter and John, who came immediately and found the 
tomb empty. Mary meantime had returned and saw two angels 
in the sepulchre, and then Jesus himself. 3 

veavio-Kov — a young man. This is the form which the angel 
took. iZcOa/xprjOTjo-av — they were utterly amazed. Ik in com- 
position means utterly, out and out. 

6. 'Irjo-ovv . . . rov Na^ap^vov r. iaravptofxtvov — Jesus the Naza- 
rene, the crucified. Mt. omits rov T$a£aprjv6v.* Lk. makes the 
angels ask, why seek the living among the dead? 5 The exact 
language is not preserved in such cases. The statement common 
to all the narratives is, that the one whom they are seeking is not 
there, but is risen. I8e, 6 tokos — see, the place* 

7. dAA.a vtrayere, elnare rois fxaOrjrals avrov Kal to> Tlerpto — but 
go, tell his disciples and Peter. Peter's name is not mentioned 
separately because his denial puts him out of the group of dis- 
ciples, but it specifies him among the disciples as the one whose 
faith, having been most shaken, needs most the restoring effect of 
this announcement, npodyei eh rrjv YaXtXaiav — he goes before 
you into Galilee. This is in accordance with our Lord's predic- 
tion in 1 4 s8 . KaOtos elirev v/xtv — as he told you. He has not told 
them directly that they will see him, but that is implied in the rest 
of the statement, that he will rise and will go before them into 
Galilee. This does not absolutely rule out the appearances in 
Jerusalem, which are narrated in v. 9 " 20 , but it makes it probable 
that they were not included in the scheme of this book. We can 
scarcely think of a writer recording this language who had in his 
mind several appearances in Judaea before they went into Galilee. 
And especially, it is quite improbable that the promise should be 

1 Mt. 282. 2 Lk. 24*. * J. 20I-U. * Mt. 28«. 6 Lk. 246. 

6 dn this use of iSt as an interjection, — in this case not governing the noun 
which follows, — see on 15 36 . 


of appearances in Galilee, and that the appearances themselves in 
the same account should be all in Judaea. 

8. /cat iqeXdovaai e<f>vyov airo rov fjivrj/xetov ' ciyc yap auTas Tpofxos 
k. €K<rrao-is — and having gone out, they fled from the tomb ; for 
trembling and amazement possessed them. c/co-Tacns is a transport 
of wonder, and amazement that carries men out of themselves, 
makes them beside themselves. Z<f>o(3ovvTo — for they were afraid. 
This shows the state of mind that produced the rpofxos ko.1 cko-tci- 
o-ts. Mt. says that great joy, as well as fear, entered into their 
feelings. 1 Here probably our Gospel ends. What follows comes 
evidently from a later hand, and is intended to remove the abrupt- 
ness of the ending of the original. All that Mk. tells us there- 
fore of the resurrection is the announcement of it by the angel, 
and the promise that Jesus would appear to his disciples in Galilee, 
showing that this appearance is included in the scheme of this 
book, though not narrated by it. The appendix contains no 
account of this appearance in Galilee, but only of appearances in 
Jerusalem and its vicinity. This confinement of the appearances 
of Jesus to Galilee is common to this Gospel with Mt. 2 Lk., on 
the other hand, records only appearances in Jerusalem and its 
neighborhood, and while his narrative does not so definitely 
exclude appearances in Galilee, as Mt. and Mk. do appearances 
in Judaea, it certainly leaves that impression. 

Omit raxi>, quickly, before %4>vyov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. and most 
sources, yhp, for, instead of 8k, and, after e?xe, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. K 
BD, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. 


Verses 9 " 30 are omitted by Tisch., double-bracketed by WH., 
inserted in the Revisers' Text, but with a space between it and 
the preceding passage, and Treg. inserts in the same space Kara. 
Mdpnov. WH., in their Notes on Special Passages, pronounce 
against the genuineness. This is done primarily on the authority 
of X B, one ms. Lat. Vet. and mss. of the Arm. and JEth. versions. 
L, 274 marg., the ms. of Lat. Vet. mentioned above, Hard. marg. 
and ^Eth. mM - mand * give what is known as the Shorter Conclusion, 
as follows : Udvra 8c to. TraprjyyeXp.€va tois 7repi rov II eVpov o-vvto/acos 
l^rfyytiXav ' /xctoi 8c ravra kcu outos 6 'Irjcrovs a.7rb avaroXfjs teal a\pL 
Svo-ew? c£a7rco-T«Aev 81' avruv to lepbv Kat acfaOaprov Krjpvyfxa Trj<; 
alwiov o-uiTrjpias — And they reported briefly to Peter and those in 

l Mt. 288. 2 Mt. 28W- 1*-20. 


his company all the things commanded. And after these things 
Jesus himself also sent forth through them from the east even to 
the west the holy and incorruptible message of eternal salvation. 
L virtually closes the Gospel with v. 8 , and gives this shorter end- 
ing as current in some places, and then the longer ending as also 
current. The testimony of Eusebius, Victor, and Jerome is that 
these versions were to be found in some mss., but not in the 
oldest or best. They are not recognized in the Ammonian 
sections nor the Eusebian canons. And there is an ominous 
lack of reference to them in those passages of the Fathers which 
treat, for instance, of baptism, the resurrection, and the ascension. 
It is very true that this external evidence is not enough by itself, 
though it is always to be remembered that K B are the most 
important witnesses to the text. 

But the internal evidence for the omission is much stronger 
than the external, proving conclusively that these verses could not 
have been written by Mk. The linguistic differences alone are 
enough to settle this, — enough to show, even if we had Mk.'s 
autograph, that they were not original with him, but copied 
directly from another source, ckcivos is used in the passage 
five times in a way quite unknown to the Synoptics, but common 
to the fourth Gospel. 7rop€uo/x<u is used three times, but does not 
occur elsewhere in the Gospel. This is the more remarkable, as 
it is in itself so common a word, and the occasions for its use 
occur on every page. In this section, it is the favorite word for 
going, tois /act' avTov yevo/acvots, as a designation of the disciples, 
is another unfamiliar expression. Oedo/xai, as a verb of seeing, 
does not occur elsewhere in Mk., and is infrequent elsewhere, but 
is used twice in this passage. In fact, it is the only verb for seeing 
in the passage. diriorco) also occurs twice in this passage, but not 
elsewhere in this Gospel. Mo-a (Sc) ravra is a phrase not found 
in Mt. or Mk. It occurs a few times in Lk., and constantly in Jn. 
"Yarepov is another expression used to denote succession of events, 
not found elsewhere in Mk. davdo-ifiov occurs only here in the 
N.T. pXanrtu occurs elsewhere in the N.T. only in Lk. 4 s5 . 
o-wcpyowTo? is a good Pauline word, and is found once in Jas., 
but only here in the Gospels. (Stfiaiovv is found in Paul's epistles 
and in Heb., but not elsewhere in the Gospels. kiraKoXovOdv 
occurs twice in 1 Tim., and once in 1 Pet., but not elsewhere in 

XVI. 9-20] THE APPENDIX 303 

the Gospels. To sum up, there are in all 163 words in this 
passage, and of these, 19 words and 2 phrases are peculiar, not 
occurring elsewhere in this Gospel. There are 109 different 
words, and of these, n words and 2 phrases do not occur 
elsewhere in this Gospel. Of these, the use of -n-opcvofxai, iKei- 
vos, and Otdofxai, would of themselves constitute a case, being, 
from the frequency of their use, characteristic and distinctive in 
this vocabulary, while the entire disuse of these common words is 
a peculiarity of the rest of the Gospel. 

But the argument from the general character of the section is 
stronger still. In the first place, it is a mere summarizing of the 
appearances of our Lord, a manner of narration entirely foreign 
to this Gospel. Mark is the most vivid and picturesque of the 
evangelists, abbreviating discourse, but amplifying narration. But 
this is a mere enumeration. The first part of the chapter, relating 
the appearance of the angels to the women, is a good example of 
his style, and is in marked contrast to this section. 

But a graver objection arises from the character of the o-rjfxeta 
that are promised here to follow believers. The casting out of 
demons, and the cure of the sick, belong strictly to the class of 
miracles performed by our Lord. They are miracles of benefi- 
cence performed on others. And in the speaking with tongues, 
possibly we do not get outside of that sphere. But we do have 
an anticipation of the new conditions of the apostolic era and of 
the charismata which distinguish its activity from our Lord's, that 
is, to say the least, unexampled in the teaching of Jesus. More- 
over, this refers either to the speaking with foreign tongues of the 
day of Pentecost, or to the ecstatic speech which St. Paul calls 
speaking with tongues in 1 Cor. If the former, then it is not re- 
peated. And if the latter, then St. Paul depreciates it, and for 
good reasons. Either would be against our Lord's selection of it 
here as a representative miracle. But the taking up serpents, and 
the drinking of deadly things without harm, belong strictly to 
the category of mere thaumaturgy ruled out by Jesus. Our Lord 
does not exempt himself nor his disciples from the natural con- 
sequences of their acts. The very principle of his kingdom is, 
that he and they shall take their place in the ordinary conditions 
of human life, and shall there be exposed, not only to the ordi- 
nary dangers of that life, but to the extraordinary perils incident 


to an uncompromising righteousness in an evil world, and with- 
out any miraculous safeguards. But here, that miraculous safe- 
guarding is promised as the condition distinctly supplanting the 

But the most serious difficulty with this passage is, that it is in- 
consistent with the preceding part of the chapter in regard to the 
place and time of the appearances to the disciples, following 
Lk.'s account, whereas the first part accords with Mt.'s very dif- 
ferent scheme. The angels tell the women that Jesus precedes 
them into Galilee, and will be seen by his disciples there. But 
the appearance to Mary Magdalene was on the day of the re- 
surrection, and near the tomb. The appearance to the two on 
their way into the country was evidently that to the disciples going 
to Emmaus, also on the day of the resurrection. And that to the 
eleven as they were reclining at table, was evidently also identical 
with that recorded in Lk. 24 s6 sq., and was therefore in Jerusalem, 
and on the evening of the resurrection. Immediately after this, 
in both accounts, comes the ascension, and leaves no time for 
appearances in Galilee. In St. Matthew, on the other hand, there 
are no appearances in Judaea, except that to the women on their 
way from the sepulchre. They have received from the angels the 
same message as in Mk. 16 7 , that Jesus precedes them into Galilee, 
and in accordance with this, the disciples go there, and Jesus 
appears to them on the mountain. Plainly, then, the first verses 
of our chapter are framed on Mt.'s scheme of the Galilean 
appearances, and v. 9 " 20 on Lk.'s scheme of appearances in Judaea. 
And the two are mutually exclusive. On the other hand, the 
ending of the Gospel, with these verses omitted, is abrupt. But 
if this abruptness were foreign to Mk.'s manner, it would not 
show that this ending is genuine, only that the difficulty was felt 
by copyists, one of whom supplied this ending, and another the 
shorter ending. The existence of the two is presumptive proof 
of the original omission. But really, the brevity of this ending is 
quite parallel to the beginning of the Gospel, the beginning and 
ending being both alike outside the main purpose of the evangelist. 
It is not strange therefore, but rather consonant with Mk.'s 
manner. 1 

1 See Introduction. 



9-20. The first appearance is said to be to Mary Mag* 
dalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. Then 
there is the appearance " in another form " to two of the dis- 
ciples on their way into the country. Both of these reports 
were brought to the disciples, and were received with in- 
credidity. The third appearance is to the eleven as they were 
reclining at table, when Jesus rebukes their lack of faith 
and their spiritual obtuseness, and gives them his final in- 
structions and promises. They were to go into all the world, 
and proclaim the glad-tidings to all creation. He whs 
believes their message and is baptized will be saved; and 
he who disbelieves will be condemned. Moreover, believers 
were to be accredited by certain signs done in his name. 
They were to cast out demons, speak with tongues, handle 
serpents and drink poisons with impunity, and heal the sick 
with the laying on of hands. After this discourse, the Lord 
was taken up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of 
God. And the disciples went out everywhere with their 
message, the Lord helping them, and confirming their word 
zvith the promised signs. 

9. 'Avaoras Se Trpm Trputrrj (Tafifidrov itpdvq Trpdrov Mapta rrj May- 
SaXrjvrj, irap > 17s iKfiefiXrJKti irrra Saifiovia — And having arisen early 
on the first day of the week, he appears first to Mary Magdalene, 
from whom he had cast out seven demons. This is not a callida 
junctura, and could scarcely have been written by Mk. himself, 
with what he had just written in mind. The identification of 
Mary Magdalene, after she had been mentioned three times in the 
preceding narrative, is especially inconsistent. -nap rjs — this is 
the only case of the use of this prep, in describing the casting out 
of demons, and it is as strange as it is unexampled. This appear- 
ance to Mary Magdalene is given in J. 20 14 . The story of the 
different appearances, in this paragraph, though taken from differ- 
ent gospels, is told by the compiler in his own manner, with some 
marked variations, and in all cases in a condensed form. The in- 
cident of the seven demons is from Lk. 8 2 . 

irap' rjs, instead of &$' fjs, Treg. WH. RV. CDL 33. It should be 
remembered that n B do not contain this paragraph. 

306 the gospel of mark [xvi. 10-14 

10. iiceivT) — this unemphatic use of ckco/os reminds us of the 
fourth Gospel, but is foreign to Mk. And yet, in this paragraph, 
it is found in v. 10 - 1L 20 . The use in v. 13 , while it is more or less 
emphatic, is foreign to Mk.'s style. TropevOeio-a — Here is a more 
striking anomaly. For this word, though it occurs here three 
times, v. 101215 , — in fact, is the staple word for going, — is not 
found elsewhere in Mk., though it is so common a word, and the 
occasions for its use are so frequent. This makes the striking 
feature, that this common word is dropped from Mk.'s vocabulary, 
and suddenly appears here. The other evangelists use it con- 
stantly, rots /act' avrov ycvofiivois — to those who had come to be 
{associated) with him. This paraphrase for his disciples is also 
unknown to Mk., and to the other evangelists, -rrwdovcn — weeping. 
This word ttcvBovo-i is also a word occurring only here in this gospel, 
but that does not count, as it is about the rate of its use in the 
other books of the N.T. 

11. Mark agrees with Luke that the first report of the resur- 
rection was disbelieved. 1 Mt., however, states that the message 
of Jesus was acted upon, and so implies their belief in the report 
of the resurrection. 2 This appearance to Mary Magdalene is 
condensed from J. 20 11 " 18 . The verbal anomalies are in the use of 
eKeivot, ZOedQr], and r}7ri<TT7)<rav. iOeddr} is used twice in the para- 
graph here, and in v. 14 , and nowhere else in Mk. ^Vco-T^crav is 
found here and in v. 16 (twice in Lk.), and nowhere else in Mk. 

12, 13. This appearance to the two on their way into the 
country is condensed from Lk.'s account of the appearance to the 
two disciples on their way to Emmaus. 3 It differs from that in its 
account of their non-recognition of Jesus, and of the reception 
given to their story. Instead of the iv crepa popfyrj, in another 
form, Lk. attributes their failure to recognize him to the fact that 
their eyes were restrained from knowing him. And instead of the 
unbelief of their story told here, Lk., on the contrary, says that 
the eleven met them with the story of Christ's actual resurrection 
(oj/to)?) and his appearance to Peter. 4 The verbal peculiarities 
are in the use of para ravra and -n-opevofievoLs. p.era ravra is found 
in Lk., is very frequent in J., but is not found in Mt. and Mk. 

14. This appearance to the eleven on the evening following the 
resurrection is given in both Lk. and J. 5 It differs from both ac- 
counts again in the matter of Jesus' reproach of their unbelief of 
the stories of his resurrection. In Lk. it is not this for which he 
chides them, but for their idea, in spite of their acceptance of 
those stories, that his present appearance was that of a ghost. 
J. records only their gladness. 6 The verbal peculiarities are in the 

1 Lk. 2411. * Lk. 24I6. 34. 

2 Mt. 28 10 - 16 . 5 Lk. 243&-*9 J. ^s- 2 *. 
* Lk. 2413-M. 6 Lk. 24^. 37 j. 2020. 


use of varepov, and deaaaficvois. vcrrepov is found in the other 
gospels, but not elsewhere in Mk. 

Insert S£ after v<TTepov, Treg. (Treg. marg. WH.) RV. AD, mss. Latt. 
Memph. Syrr. Add i< vacp&v, from the dead (Treg. marg. WH.) AC * X 
A Hard. 

15. These last words in Mt. are given on the mountain in Galilee. 1 
In Lk., the farewell is said at Bethany. 2 These instructions in 
Lk. are given, the same as here, at the supper in Jerusalem, but 
they are separated from the ascension and the final words. 3 11-0077 
rrj KTtaei — to all creation. Every creature, AV., would require 
the omission of the article. The two elements prominent in these 
instructions, the preaching and the baptizing, are common to Mt. 
and Mk. 

16. We have here a group of things common to the apostolic 
teaching, but new to the Gospels. This is the first mention of 
baptism since the baptism of John. In the fourth Gospel even, it 
is not mentioned after the early Judsean ministry of our Lord. 4 
Then, while faith is enjoined in Jesus' teaching, it is nowhere, in 
the Synoptics, singled out as the condition of salvation, as, of 
course, baptism is not, since it is not mentioned at all. In fact, 
if one should gather up into a single statement our Lord's teach- 
ing about the condition of salvation, the necessary attitude of men 
towards the word, it would be obedience. This statement inaugu- 
rates and prepares the way for the apostolic teaching. 

17. 18. Of the signs promised here, the healing, and the casting 
out of demons, are characteristic of our Lord's activity ; the sneak- 
ing with tongues is new, and belongs to the apostolic period ; and 
the taking up of serpents and drinking poisons with impunity is 
absolutely foreign to our Lord's principle. 5 The verbal peculiari- 
ties are in the use of TrapaKoXovOrja-et ( ? ) , and 8avd<nfjLov, the former 
occurring only here in Mk., and the latter only here in N.T. 

aico\ovdri<7ei, instead of irapaKokovd-fiaei, Treg. WH. CL. 7rapaKo\ov6ri<Tci t 
AC 2 33 (A paKo\ovd-fi<rei) . There is a meaning of closeness of attendance 
which makes irapa.Ko\ovd-fi<rei much more individual and probable. Omit 
Kaivais. new, after y\d)<T<rais, Treg. WH. RV. marg. CL A Memph. Insert 
ko.1 iv reus x e P <r * I '> anc ? * w their hands, before 6<peis dpovci, Treg. (Treg 
marg. WH.) C*» nd2 LM marg. X A Grk. 1, 22, 33, Memph. Cur. Hard. 


19. /tiera to XaXrjcrai clvtois — after speaking to them. This can 
refer only to the words spoken by our Lord at the supper in 
Jerusalem. If it had been after the entire event, and not a part 

1 Mt. 28I&-20. « Lk. 24^-49. 5 See Note on the Appendix. 

2 Lk. 2450- 51. 4 J. 3» 4!- 2. 

308 THE GOSPEL OF MARK [XVI. 19, 30 

of the event coming after the discourse, something less specific 
than this //.era to \a\rjcrai would have been given as the mark of 
time. The ascension therefore, according to this, was on the 
evening after the resurrection. So Lk., even supposing that the 
omission of teal avc<p€pcro eis rov ovpavov (Tisch. omits, and WH. 
RV. marg. double bracket) is accepted. 1 Mt., however, gives the 
appearance to the disciples on a mountain in Galilee. 2 xat c*a0i- 
<rev ck 8e$iu>v rov ®cov — and sat down on the right hand of God. 
This belongs to the creed, not to history. 

Insert TtjctoOj after 6 Kt/pioi, Treg. (Treg. marg. WH.) RV. CKL A I, 
22, 33, 124, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Syrr. Memph. 

20. The Lord helps the disciples in their subsequent work. This 
statement is introduced to show how both command and promise 
were fulfilled in the missionary activity of the disciples. The 
verbal peculiarities are in the use of iicewot, Travra\ov, o-wcpyovvTos, 
/3c/?aiovvTos, and £TraKo\ovOovvTu>v. TravTa\ov is not found elsewhere 
in Mk. (once in Lk.). avvepyovvTOS, /Sc/Jcuovvtos, €7raKoAov0owTO)v, 
are not found elsewhere in the Gospels. They belong to the 
vocabulary of the Pauline Epistles. 

Omit 'Afi-fiv at the end, Treg. WH. (Tisch.) AC 2 1, 33, mss. Latt. Syrr. 


Mk. does not himself recount any appearance of the risen Lord. 
But he makes the angel at the tomb announce the resurrection, 
and promise that the Lord would meet his disciples in Galilee. 
The difficulty with this part of the history is that Mt. and Mk. 
give one version of it, Lk. another, the Acts still a third, and 
1 Cor. a fourth. The account in Acts coincides with Lk. in regard 
to the final appearance, but, in regard to the time, differs from it 
more radically than either of the others, while Paul differs from 
them all in regard to the persons to whom Jesus appeared. But 
these differences of detail do not invalidate the main fact. The 
testimony of Paul is invaluable here. He writes his account about 
a.d. 58, and we know that he had had intercourse with both Peter 
and John, and James, who are named by him as among those to 
whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection. This first-hand testi- 
mony to the fact of the resurrection entirely outweighs any dis- 
crepancy in the details. It puts the latter in the class of varieties 

1 Lk. 24^3. a Mt. 2816-20. 


of account which do not invalidate nor weaken the historicity of 
any record. There is a false impression made by the unusual 
consistency of the Synoptical Gospels which weakens unduly their 
testimony in the parts where they show more independence and 
variety. Of course, Mt. and Mk., on the one hand, and Lk., on 
the other, give independent and varying accounts of the resurrec- 
tion. But the variety is caused by the independence ; it is no 
greater than the ordinary variations of independent narratives, 
and it does not therefore invalidate the main fact of the resurrec- 
tion. But the Synoptical Gospels, in the main, in their record of 
the public ministry of Jesus, are interdependent, and so there is 
an unusual sameness about them. This should not weaken their 
testimony, when they become independent, and so variant. 


The result of textual criticism is to render it doubtful if there is 
any account of the ascension of our Lord in the Gospels. Mt., 
Mk., and J. contain no account of it. And the passage in Lk. 
which gives it is put in the column of doubtful passages, being 
omitted by Tisch., and double-bracketed by WH. RV. On the 
other hand, there is no doubt that Lk. means by the SUa-rrj ch-' 
avru>v, he was parted from them, a final separation from the disci- 
ples on that first day following the resurrection. And this brings 
it directly into conflict with the account of the forty days in Acts. 
Moreover, the story in Acts is the only one that relates, or even 
implies, a visible ascent. The ave<f>ep£To in Lk., and ave\^<f>9-q in 
Mk., though their presence in the originals is impossible in Mk., 
and doubtful in Lk., can be traced back to first century sources 
through the old Latin and Syriac versions, so that they can be 
taken as witnesses to the event. But neither of them can be 
taken as independent witnesses to a visible ascent. That is sup- 
plied by the account in Acts. 


Abiathar, 2 26 . 
Allegory, 12 5 . 
Anointing, 6 13 . 
Antiochus Epiphanes, 13 14 . 

Bartholomew, 3 18 . 
Bartimseus, io 46 . 
Beelzebul, 3 s2 . 
Beginning of Sabbath, I 82 . 
Bethany, II 1 . 
Bethsaida, 6 45 . 

Beyschlag, Life of Jesus, 4^ et passim. 
Boanerges, 3 17 . 
Brothers of our Lord, 3 18 - 31 . 
Burton, N.T. Moods and Tenses, I 10 
et passim. 

Caesarea Philippi, 8 27 . 
Camel's hair, I 6 . 
Capernaum, I 21 . 
Chief priest, 8 31 . 
Children and dogs, 7 27 . 
Cleansing all foods, 7 19 . 
Cure by touch, 3 10 . 
Cyrene, 15 20 . 

Dalmanutha, 8 10 . 

Decapolis, 5 20 . 

Disciples of Pharisees, 2 18 . 

Edersheim, Life of Jesus, 7 3 et passim. 

Elder, 8 31 . 

Elijah, i 6 615 I5 35. 

Evidence of a passover, 6 39 7 1 . 

Fasting, 2 18 . 
First last, io». 
Four watches, 13 8 *. 

Galilee, i 14 ; Sea of, l». 
Galilean ministry, i 14 S. 
Gardiner, Harmony, 3 s *. 
Gehenna, 9 43 . 
Gennesaret, 6 53 . 
Gerasenes, 5 1 . 
Gethsemane, 14 32 . 
Giving to him who hath, 4 25 . 
Golgotha, 15 22 . 

Hackett, Illustrations of Scripture, 4 81 . 

Hardness of heart, 6 52 . 

Hebrew inf. absolute, 7 10 . 

Herod Antipas, 6 14 . 

Herodians, 3 6 . 

Herodias, 6"e. 

Hillel, io 2 . 

Holtzmann, Commentary, I 29 et passim, 

Hosanna, n 9 - 10 . 

Idumaea, 3 8 . 

Inner circle of disciples, gi*. 
Inscription on the cross, 15 26 . 
Interpolation, ko.1 vqarelq., 9 M . 
Iscariot, 3 19 . 

Jairus, s 22 . 

James of Alphaeus, 3 18 . 
Jesus' humanity, 6 14 f* 8 2 n 18 13 32 ; 
prayers, 6*°; anger, 3 5 ; silence, 14 60 . 

1 In these lists, g denotes matter of a general character preceding or following a 




Jewish criminal procedure, 15 1 . 
Joseph of Arimathgea, 15 48 . 

Kingdom of God, I 16 9 47 io 14 * 5 ; of 
David, 11 10 . 

Lamp, 4 21 . 

Laying on of hands, I 41 . 

Leaves on fig tree, II 8 . 

Legion, 5 9 . 

Leper, I 40 - 44 . 

Levi, 2 14 . 

Liddell and Scott, Lex., I 36 et passim. 

Locusts, i 6 . 

Mark, manner, 2 1 - 13 4 3 5 5 6 7 15 28 . 
Mary, mother of James and Joses, 15 40 . 
Meyer, Commentar